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An event was held at Crowne Plaza Sohar recently to raise awareness on Myeloproliferative Neoplasm A[degrees] a group of bone marrow and blood disorders. Also known as MPN or MPD amongst doctors, MyeloprolA[degrees] iferative Neoplasm is characA[degrees] terised by over production of blood cells.

The event focused in particular on two forms of the disorder A[degrees] Myelofibrosis and Chronic Myeloid Leukemia A[degrees] which are often identiA[degrees] fied by enlargement of the spleen or liver, unexpected bruising, easy bleeding, bone pain, fatigue and weakness. Chronic Myeloid Leukemia is a common form of adult leukemia accounting for 15 to 20 per cent of the cases. Early diagnosis can help patients manA[degrees] age the disease by seeking accurA[degrees] ate treatment.

Leukemia is one of the ten most common malignancies in the Arab world and third most common for cancer in Oman, according to 2010 statistics. It ranks 12th globally for

death rates, according to WHO. Addressing the awareness event in Sohar were Dr Salam al Kindi, head of haematology at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Dr Ali al Madhani, executive director of Sohar Hospital, and NovarA[degrees]tis Oncology.

"In chronic myeloid leukemia, the affected cells tend to build up in the body over a period of time, but in many cases, people don't have any symptoms for at least a few years. In time, the cells can also invade other parts of the body, including the spleen. In late stages, the disease can also change into a fastA[degrees]growing acute leukemia that invades almost any organ in the body," said Dr Salam.

Addressing the event, Dr Ali said, "The disease is detected through a test of blood cell count. If any abnormality is detected, the diagnosis is completed through a bone marrow biopsy. Although there are very few approved treatment options for MPN, medication is provided to control the abnormal activities of the blood cells. Chemotherapy is also used to treat the disease. Supportive care is recommended to cope up with the symptoms of the disease."

According to Islam Sadek, haematology medical advisor at Novartis Oncology, awareness on the symptoms of leukemia through which it can be identified, the difA[degrees] ferent forms and the disease manA[degrees] agement options available for patients is low in Gulf countries.

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia occurs in all age groups, but the incidence increases with age. The average age for diagnosis of both myelofibrosis and chronic myeloid leukemia is between 50 and 80 years. The mean age for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia presentation is 43 and known to occur in this region two decaA[degrees] des earlier. Additionally, the conA[degrees] dition is more common in men than women.

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Publication:The Week (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Oct 10, 2013

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