A myelofibrosis prognosis is an estimate on the likely course and outcome of disease. A prognosis tries to answer how serious the cancer is, and rate of survival. A prognosis can be hard to determine and is based on various factors.
Myelofibrosis Prognosis Factors
A few factors that affect a cancer prognosis include the type of cancer, where it is in the body, the stage of disease, and how you respond to treatment. Different cancer types spread faster than others, and each body responds to treatments differently.
Type of Cancer
Myelofibrosis is an uncommon bone marrow cancer that disrupts the body’s normal production of blood cells and causes scarring in the bone marrow. In a healthy body, stem cells in the bone marrow become either white blood cells, red blood cells, or platelets. In myelofibrosis, mutated DNA in the stem cells cause the body to instead produce immature blood cells, called blasts, that do not become the proper blood cells. The body will instead underproduce red blood cells, and overproduce white blood cells, leading to complications in time.
Stage of Cancer
The stage of cancer refers to how far the cancer has spread in the body; and myelofibrosis is divided into low-risk, intermediate-risk, and high-risk categories. People diagnosed with low-risk myelofibrosis are often able to live for many years by just monitoring the disease and treating it as a chronic illness. Patients presenting mild to acute symptoms fall into the intermediate-risk category. Finally, patients with high-risk myelofibrosis will need to consider more aggressive treatment plans.
Five-Year Survival Rate
A five-year survival rate is another metric often used when discussing cancer prognoses. Five-year survival rate refers to the percentage of people in a study or treatment group who are alive five years after they were diagnosed with or started treatment for cancer. This metric does not mean that you will fare the same as other patients but can be used to understand the seriousness of the cancer. Primary myelofibrosis (myelofibrosis not caused by something else) has a five-year survival rate of about 40%. However, there are treatments and studies that can help to increase those odds. Clinical trials provide access to the latest treatments for myelofibrosis and should be considered at any point in your cancer journey.