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Overview of Myeloproliferative Disorders
In myeloproliferative disorders (myelo = bone marrow, proliferative = rapid multiplication), the blood-producing cells in the bone marrow (precursor cells) develop and reproduce excessively or are crowded out by an overgrowth of fibrous tissue. Typically, these disorders are acquired and not inherited, although rarely there are families in which several members have these disorders. It is likely that family members inherit a predisposition to the disorder rather than the disorder itself.
Three major myeloproliferative disorders are polycythemia vera, myelofibrosis, and thrombocythemia. The proliferation of blood-producing cells is always noncancerous (benign) when it begins. However, in a small number of people, a myeloproliferative disorder progresses or transforms to a cancerous (malignant) condition, such as leukemia.
Major Myeloproliferative Disorders
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