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 22, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 22, 2019
Mars 2020 Rover Carries Full Weight on Wheels for First Time
NASA has been working on an advanced successor to the Martian Curiosity rover for quite some time. Dubbed the Mars 2020 rover, the upgraded SUV-sized auton...
NOV 22, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 22, 2019
ESA's Solar Orbiter is Nearly Ready to Launch
Move over Parker Solar Probe, there’s a new Sun-orbiting spacecraft in town. The European Space Agency has completed the assembly of the Solar Orbite...
NOV 22, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 22, 2019
Could the Successful Juno Mission See an Extension Beyond 2021?
The Juno mission, launched by NASA in 2011 to explore the fascinating Jovian system, finally arrived at its destination in 2016. Since then, the spacecraft...
NOV 22, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 22, 2019
Watch a Sunfish Get a Cleaning in the Depths of the Ocean
Ocean sunfish, also known as Mola Mola, are the world’s heaviest bony fish. These creatures can span up to three meters long and weigh more than two...
NOV 22, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 22, 2019
The Elements that Could Go "Extinct"?
Extinction doesn't just happen in the world of biology — it might also have to chemical elements. Our world of modern technologies relies on a lo...
NOV 22, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 22, 2019
Cheetahs Band Together to Take Down Larger Prey
Cheetahs are impressively large cats, but they aren’t quite as large as the fabled lion. Their smaller stature means that they’re compelled to...
Loading Comments...