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What is Myelofibrosis?



Professor Claire Harrison


So myelofibrosis is a different cancer. Often it’s a cancer that you won’t have heard about, as a patient, before. You probably don’t know anybody else who’s had it. It’s different from a cancer that can affect, for example, the breast or the prostate. So it’s in the blood, we need blood to survive so it can’t be cut out or removed by surgery. It’s a cancer that we don’t treat usually with radiation treatment, or aggressive chemotherapy that causes hair loss for example.


I asked my daughter when she was eight years old to draw to me the organ of blood and she made a very nice – whom I always show everywhere – she built a house and made some cells, this is a factory – the bone marrow, and then she made a car. This is, you know, the iron, the vitamins, the bone marrow needs the supplier, and then, out from the factory came the mature and adult cells. So I always draw the patient the house, tell him this is a factory – it just isn’t producing and that’s why you’re not having the blood and this, I think, helps people to just start to understand what is actually wrong with them.