SEP 08, 2017 05:54 AM PDT

A Rare Blood Cancer You Should Know About


There are hundreds of different forms of cancer, but one that most people do not hear much about is polycythemia vera, commonly known as PV. It's part of a group of blood cancers called myeloproliferative neoplasms, or MPNs. It's a disease of bone marrow that causes too many cells to be produced. The cells can be irregularly shaped, and an excess of cells makes the blood thick. This results in a high risk of blood clots for patients, as well as fatigue, shortness of breath and widespread pain.

In patients with PV, since their blood is thicker than healthy patients, not only are they at risk for clots, heart attack, and stroke, but the blood doesn't circulate as easily through the body. Getting oxygen to muscles, the brain, and the lungs takes longer, and this is what causes the fatigue, pain and sometimes mental fog that PV patients report. Blood tests can reveal PV, but patients are often reluctant to report vague symptoms to their health care providers, chalking the signs up to age or fitness. Healthcare providers can check a patient's hematocrit levels, which is the volume of red blood cells in the bloodstream. Patients who have PV should consult an oncologist or hematologist for proper treatment.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
NOV 10, 2018
Videos
NOV 10, 2018
Engineering Viable Offspring From Same-sex Mouse Parents
Using a special kind of stem cell and genetic engineering, researchers have learned more about what's possible in reproduction....
NOV 11, 2018
Videos
NOV 11, 2018
The Island That Suddenly Disappeared
An island, consisting of a strip of gravel and sand and was important for the survival of beleaguered seals and sea turtles, has suddenly vanished after be...
NOV 20, 2018
Videos
NOV 20, 2018
Legal marijuana sales begin today in MA
Massachusetts opened its first dispensaries for legal recreational marijuana sales today. The companies, one called Cultivate Holdings in Leicester and ano...
NOV 25, 2018
Videos
NOV 25, 2018
What If Earth Spun the Other Way?
If once upon a time the Earth spun the other way—the seasons wouldn’t change because of the Earths tilt. But, what would change is the climate ...
DEC 05, 2018
Cancer
DEC 05, 2018
Zika virus as a weapon against brain cancer
Glioblastoma is the most aggressive type of Brain Cancer with an average survival rate of less than two years with treatment. So what if there could be a cure for this type of cancer....
DEC 13, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 13, 2018
Biochemical Antifreezes: How Do They Work?
How do fish survive in the Arctic ocean where the temperature is under zero degree Celsius most of the year? They rely on a class of polypeptides called th...
Loading Comments...