SEP 08, 2017 5:54 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 18, 2020
Plants & Animals
This Bat Species Uses Masks for Mating
NOV 18, 2020
This Bat Species Uses Masks for Mating
From pandemic precautions to televised talent shows, masks are having a moment. Even this bizarre bat species has a buil ...
JAN 05, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Could Earth's Microbes Help Us Find Extraterrestrial Life?
JAN 05, 2021
Could Earth's Microbes Help Us Find Extraterrestrial Life?
As scientists are learning more about microbes existing in the higher echelons of the Earth's atmosphere, they are b ...
FEB 19, 2021
Plants & Animals
Group of Migrating Gray Whales Makes a Puget Sound Pitstop
FEB 19, 2021
Group of Migrating Gray Whales Makes a Puget Sound Pitstop
Washington’s Puget Sound is famously home to resident and transient orca pods. However, during their yearly migrat ...
APR 09, 2021
Plants & Animals
Celebrating National Pet Day
APR 09, 2021
Celebrating National Pet Day
Sunday, April 11, is National Pet Day! From pandemic companions to viral videos, pets are a huge part of our lives. Even ...
MAY 29, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Climate Models Overestimate Role of Greenhouse Gases in Global Warming, Says New Study
MAY 29, 2021
Climate Models Overestimate Role of Greenhouse Gases in Global Warming, Says New Study
Researchers have that there was four times more soot in the pre-industrial Southern Hemisphere's atmosphere than pre ...
JUN 17, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Chinese Astronauts Will Live on New Space Station for 3 Months
JUN 17, 2021
Chinese Astronauts Will Live on New Space Station for 3 Months
Astronauts aboard China’s first manned spacecraft in almost five years have reached the new Tiangong space station ...
Loading Comments...