As you work with your Healthcare Professional to understand and assess your polycythemia vera (PV), it’s important to be aware of how you feel and how PV affects your daily life. Your symptoms, your blood counts, even your feelings can help you identify your PV State of Mine—or where you are on your journey with PV.

Evaluating your polycythemia vera and understanding your PV State of Mine may help you recognize when something isn’t right. This can empower you to talk to your Healthcare Professional about how PV is affecting you and how it’s changing over time so that you can work together in managing your condition.

View polycythemia vera resources to help you get the conversation started with your Healthcare Professional >.

Polycythemia Vera (PV) General Information

Polycythemia vera (polly-sigh-THEE-me-ah-VAIR-Ah), or PV, is a rare, chronic blood cancer where the bone marrow produces too many red blood cells. You may also have too many white blood cells and platelets (blood clotting cells) in your blood, but having too many red blood cells causes most of the problems associated with PV. PV is part of a group of diseases called "myeloproliferative neoplasms," or MPNs.

Too many blood cells can cause the blood to thicken.

Too many blood cells can cause the blood to thicken.


Too many red blood cells can cause the blood to thicken. Thicker blood doesn’t flow normally through arteries and veins. Increased blood thickness and decreased blood flow, as well as abnormalities in your platelets and white blood cells, may increase your risk of blood clots. Blood clots can cause a stroke, heart attack, or blockage of an artery in your lungs or in a vein deep within a muscle in your arms or legs.

Polycythemia vera (PV) usually develops slowly. But as the symptoms get worse, they can take a toll on you and affect your daily life. In a very small number of people, PV leads to other blood diseases, such as myelofibrosis (a disease in which scar tissue develops in the bone marrow) or leukemia.

Learn more about what PV is > or about the
signs and symptoms. >

How Common Is Polycythemia Vera?

Approximately 100,000 people in the United States are living with PV. PV can occur at any age, but it is more common in people over 60 years of age. It affects slightly more men than women. It is considered a rare disease.

Learn more about how PV is diagnosed >Learn more about how PV is
diagnosed >

How Is Polycythemia Vera Treated?

Treatments for PV vary and may include low-dose aspirin. Phlebotomy, a procedure that helps lower blood cell counts by removing blood from the body, may also be used. Patients who have difficulty with phlebotomy, who have an enlarged spleen, who experience severe PV-related symptoms, or who continue to have elevated blood counts may be prescribed other treatments, including but not limited to chemotherapy drugs.

View polycythemia vera educational materials >.


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