Polycythemia is a neoplasm in which the bone marrow makes too many red blood cells. It may also result in the overproduction of white blood cells and platelets.
Most of the health concerns associated with polycythemia vera are caused by the blood being thicker as a result of the increased red blood cells. It is more common in the elderly and may be symptomatic or asymptomatic. Common signs and symptoms include itching (pruritus), and severe burning pain in the hands or feet that is usually accompanied by a reddish or bluish coloration of the skin. Patients with polycythemia vera are more likely to have gouty arthritis. Treatment consists primarily of phlebotomy.
Every year, millions of patients, families and caregivers are impacted by cancer in the United States. Some cancers are well-known, but others are quite rare. Polycythemia Vera (PV) is part of a group of rare blood cancers called Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs).2 PV occurs when the body produces too many red blood cells, which causes the blood to thicken. Thickening blood could lead to clots, which can block blood flow through arteries and veins. 2 This in turn could result in serious health problems including a heart attack or stroke. 2 Join us as we discuss the diagnosis and symptoms of PV with hematologist, Dr. Shachar Peles and his patient with PV and learn more about PV and MPNs at www.VoicesofMPN.com.