Why Did I Get an MPN?

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As part of the Ask the Expert series on myeloproliferative conditions from our partner, the Patient Empowerment Network, Dr. Srdan Verstovsek explains what is known about how a patient may have gotten a “moon” and whether it runs in families.

This content was provided by the Patient Empowerment Network, which received an unrestricted educational grant from Incyte Corporation.

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We know that for myeloproliferative neoplasms, like in the case of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, there is a certain family predisposition to it, but it's not genetic in a way that one gene is responsible for it.  But there is a sense of really being predisposed to have a certain percentage one or the other myeloproliferative neoplasm.  

Many times, I explain this like families that have an issue with cardiac problems.  Like there is a problem with high blood pressure running in the family.  It's not really genetic, that one gene gives it to you or something.  It's predisposition for developing high blood pressure in families.  That's like with myeloproliferative neoplasms in a way.  Nothing that we need to test for or worry about it if in a member of the family, and the large family members, you can look at a list.  If there is a disease that will show up, it will be seen on the blood count. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of MD Anderson Cancer Center, its medical staff or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on May 1, 2014