Glossary of Terms

For a comprehensive list of terms and definitions click here

Allogenic: Describes tissues or cells that are genetically different and immunologically incompatible; cell types that are antigenically distinct.

Anemia: When the number of red blood cells is below normal, it can result in fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.

Bone Marrow: The soft, fatty, vascular tissue inside bones that produce blood cells.

Bone Marrow Biopsy: A procedure used to remove soft tissue, called marrow, from inside the bone.

Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT): A procedure to replace damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells.

Blood Cancer: A malignant neoplasm of blood-forming tissue, characterized by abnormal proliferation of leukocytes.

Complete Blood Count/CBC: A blood test that measures the concentration of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets in the blood.

Chemotherapy: A cancer treatment that can be given orally and/or intravenously using chemical agents or drugs that are selectively destructive to specific cancer cells.

Donor: Some MPN patients choose to have Bone Marrow Transplants. Donors who are considered a Perfect Match are the optimal candidates and are often a family member. Many donors are unknown to the recipient although some do connect after successful transplants.

Essential Thrombocythemia: Blood disorder characterized by the overproduction of platelets and megakaryocytes in bone marrow. Also known as primary thrombocytosis.

Fatigue: A condition marked by extreme tiredness and inability to function normally due to a lack of energy.

Fibrosis: Thickening and scarring of connective tissue.

Genes: The basic building blocks of heredity that are present in all cells.

Hemoglobin: The part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen.

Hematologist: A doctor who specializes in blood cancers.

Hematopoietic Stem Cell: A cell that develops into any type of specialized blood cell.

Hepatomegaly: Enlargement of the liver.

JAK 2 (JAK2v617F): The genetic mutation found in approximately 50 percent of myelofibrosis patients, 95 percent of polycythemia vera patients, and approximately 50 percent of essential thrombocythemia patients.

MRI Scan: A scan that uses magnets and radio frequency waves to produce images inside the body.

Myelofibrosis: is a rare bone marrow cancer. Bone marrow cells that produce blood cells develop and function abnormally resulting in fibrous scar tissue formation.

Myeloproliferative Neoplasms: Diseases of the blood and bone marrow, in which the body makes too many blood cells. The three main types MPNs are: polycythaemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythaemia (ET), and myelofibrosis.

Neoplasm: An abnormal mass of tissue that results when cells divide more than they should or do not die when they should.

Neutropenia: A significant decrease in the number of white blood cells.

Night Sweats: Episodes of excessive sweating while sleeping.

Petechiae: Flat, red, pinpoint spots under the skin caused by bleeding.

Platelets: Small cell fragments that help blood clot.

Polycythemia Vera: A bone marrow disease that leads to an increase in the number of blood cells.

Pruritus: Severe itching.

Radiation Therapy: A type of treatment that uses high energy to kill cancer cells.

Red Blood Cells (RBCs): Cells that carry oxygen through the body.

Spleen: An organ located on the left side of the abdomen that is part of the lymphatic system. The spleen makes lymphocytes, filters the blood, stores blood cells, and destroys old blood cells.

Splenectomy: Surgical removal part or the entirety of the spleen.

Splenomegaly: Enlargement of the spleen.

Stem Cell: A cell that can become a more mature type of blood cell.

Stroke: Rapid loss of brain function due to a disturbance of blood flow to the brain such as a blockage or hemorrhage.

Transplant: Bone Marrow Transplant or Stem Cell Transplant.

Transfusion: A procedure in which a person is given an infusion of blood intravenously.

Ultrasound: High frequency sound waves used to look at organs and structures inside the body.

White Blood Cells (WBCs): Blood cells that help fight infection.

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