FAQ - Polycythemia
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What is the treatment for Polycythemia?


Likely answers:
A. Iron.
B. Vitamin B12.
C. Hydroxyurea.
D. Phlebotomy.
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D  (+ info)

My husband has Polycythemia. Is this a cancer of the blood? How long can he live on chemo?


Polycythemia vera is an abnormal increase in blood cells (primarily red blood cells) due to excess production of the cells by the bone marrow.

The goal of treatment is to reduce the thickness of the blood and to prevent bleeding and clotting.

A method called phlebotomy is used to decrease blood thickness. One pint of blood is removed weekly until the hematocrit level is less than 45, then therapy is continued as needed.

Occasionally, chemotherapy (specifically hydroxyurea) may be given to suppress the bone marrow. Interferon may be given to lower blood counts. A medicine called anegrelide may be given to lower platelet counts.

The use of blood thinners (such as aspirin) is controversial because it may cause stomach bleeding.


The disease usually develops slowly, and most patients do not experience any problems related to the disease after being diagnosed. However, the abnormal bone marrow cells may begin to grow uncontrollably in some patients leading to acute myelogenous leukemia. This occurs in a minority of cases.

Patients with polycythemia vera also have an increased tendency to form blood clots that can result in strokes or heart attacks. Some patients may experience abnormal bleeding because their platelets are abnormal.
You don't have to worry about him "living" on chemo.  (+ info)

I am a 26-yr-old female and my doctor says I have either polycythemia vera or essential thrombocythemia. I hav


I am a 26-yr-old female and my doctor says I have either polycythemia vera or essential thrombocythemia. I have the jak2 mutation, but I am worried he is wrong about my diagnosis because I am so young (everything I read says this effects the old).


Symptoms:
High red blood cells 14
High platelets 600
I am iron depleted.
My spleens enlarged
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The cause is unknown but it affects people of all ages. The treatment is simple. They just withdraw a unit of blood like you would if you donated it to keep your red count down. If your spleen becomes to enlarged he may recommend a sleenectomy (removal of the spleen). People can live a normal life with this disease.  (+ info)

If you have polycythemia how can it effect you in a surgery?


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Is Green Tea is helpful in treating polycythemia vera?


Don't get me wrong... Green Tea is VERY VERY good for you... But PLEASE don't mistake it for a "Magic Drug" or "Cure" for anything...

Green tea helps your body fight off the oxidation of cells... Which leads to all sorts of damage...

But it doesn't DO anything in and of itself other then support your own natural biological processes...

Drink as much of it as you like, it will probably help you... but don't expect it to do more then help your own body's attempts at healing.  (+ info)

If Polycythemia vera is diagnosed late, does that mean one is at a greater chance of developing cancer?


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do people with polycythemia have enough hemoglobin in their red blood cells?


They have normal hemogblin levels, but there is an oveproduction of red blood cells.

Lab tests that show an elevated hemoglobin level (among others) aid in the diagnosis of polycythemia vera since patients may be asymptomatic.  (+ info)

I am trying to find out the life expectancy of people with Polycythemia Vera.?


Does anyone know the answer or know where I can find it. Thank you so much.
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Treatment does not cure polycythemia vera, but it does control it and can decrease the likelihood of complications, such as the formation of blood clots. The aim of treatment is to decrease the number of red blood cells. Usually, blood is removed from the body in a procedure called phlebotomy, similar to the way blood is removed when donating blood. A pint of blood is removed every other day until the hematocrit reaches a normal level, which is then maintained by removing blood every few months, as needed.

Without treatment, about half of the people who have polycythemia vera with symptoms die in less than 2 years. With treatment, they live an average of 15 to 20 years.  (+ info)

In cases of polycythemia vera, why is blood pressure elevated?


a. increased numbers of circulating blood cells
b. frequent infarcts in the coronary circulation
c. congested spleen and bone marrow
d. increased renin and aldosterone secretions
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d. increased renin and aldosterone secretions

Increased number of circulating erythrocytes increase the blood viscosity and clog the renal circulation causing renal ischemia, which triggers the secretion of renin. Renin in turn increases the secretion of angiotension, a potent vasoconstrictor which increases blood pressure. Angiotensin increases secretion of aldosterone which causes salt and water retention, another reason for increased blood pressure.  (+ info)

Is Polycythemia Vera Thought To Be Hereditary?


I know a cause is not known for sure, but I'm curious as my grandmother has been recently diagnosed.
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It appears that it is hereditary.

Read more about it here if you wish to:
http://www.telemedicine.arizona.edu/patient_info/benign_disorders/disorders/erythrocytosis.html  (+ info)

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Last update: September 2014