This can reduce the risk of serious complications, particularly thrombosis. This limits the amount of oxygen that can get to organs and tissue. This reduces their working capacity and thus, many symptoms begin to appear. The symptoms of MPNs vary based on the type of disease and the patient’s unique circumstances. 2019. Otherwise, the rest of the cells are in a continuous state of death and division. Over time, this will help your health care team know how to best manage this long-term diagnosis so that you can experience the best quality of life. This brings about the early symptoms of PV, including dizziness, itchiness, and headaches. These excess cells thicken your blood, slowing its flow, which may cause serious problems, such as blood clots. However, it is also accompanied by a boost in the number of white blood cells and platelets as well. AskMayoExpert. Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. Some people might develop vague symptoms such as headache, dizziness, fatigue and blurred vision. Polycythemia Vera has a slow, but insidious progression. Polycythemia vera is a chronic condition that can't be cured. After many years of PV, some people can develop another type of blood cancer known as leukemia. When symptoms first start, they can be mild enough to miss. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. Ferrari A, et al. The increase in blood cells makes your blood thicker. Tefferi A, et al. Polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia, and primary myelofibrosis. Symptoms that may develop as the condition progresses include the following:(1,2) A feeling of pressure or fullness below the ribs on the left side. All 3 can be associated with splenomegaly, cytopenias, profound constitutional symptoms, and an increased risk of transformation to MF or acute leukemia. Fatigue 7. Polycythemia vera is also a progressive disease. An enlargement of the spleen is known as splenomegaly (splee-nuh-MEG-uh-lee). Journal of Blood Medicine. Symptoms of polycythemia can vary widely. Thicker blood has a difficult time moving through blood vessels. European Journal of Haematology. Polycythemia Vera is caused by the over the manufacture of red blood cells. Itchiness, especially after a warm bath or shower 2. Polycythemia vera (PV) is a bone marrow disease that leads to an abnormal increase in the number of blood cells. Learn more about causes, risk factors, screening and prevention, signs and symptoms, complications, diagnoses, treatments, and … Without treatment, polycythemia vera can be life-threatening. Veins are blood vessels that carry blood to your heart. 2019; doi:10.3324/haematol.2019.221234. Current Treatment Options in Oncology. Symptoms of polycythemia vera can be vague and quite general such as headache, easy bleeding, and more. PV is a rare, slow growing blood cancer that is a type of condition known as a myeloproliferative neoplasm. Itchiness, especially following a warm bath or shower 2. This causes the spleen to get bigger. Some possible signs and symptoms of PV include: These symptoms can also be mistaken for other conditions. You may have no symptoms, and then find out during a routine blood test that your red blood cell counts are too high. Polycythemia vera-associated complications: Pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and effects on outcomes. Men are more likely to get polycythemia vera, but women tend to get the disease at younger ages. Thicker blood has a difficult time moving through blood vessels. It may be found during a routine blood test. But in general, there are a handful of symptoms to look for, since they may mark the progression of the disease: Common Primary Myelofibrosis (MF) Symptoms Tiredness, weakness, or shortness of … It causes your bone marrow to make too many red blood cells. PV increases the risk of abnormal blood clots, which could lead to a stroke. There’s no cure, but you can control PV through treatment. A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot happens in your lungs, often from a DVT moving to the lungs from somewhere else in the body. Some people with Polycythemia vera may not have any symptoms. All rights reserved. Signs and symptoms may occur as the number of blood cells increases. Polycythemia vera occurs when a mutation in a gene causes a problem with blood cell production. It usually develops slowly, and you might have it for years without knowing. fainting. Knowing the symptoms of this rare blood disease is one way to get a diagnosis and receive treatment early. T stop and can vary from being unnoticeable to causing severe discomfort, clinical manifestations, and might... Through blood vessels of your veins in a procedure called phlebotomy is usually the symptom. Secondary polycythemia, most of the clot if it forms in the vessels... Soles is called erythromelalgia away from your heart to other parts of your brain, it is most commonly by! And blurred vision difficult time moving through blood vessels soon after eating and bloating or in. What is PV, they may not cause any symptoms blood from reaching the heart, is... Symptoms.Treatment might include: this brings about the early symptoms of PV include: 1 your... ( nerve cells ) of people who ’ ve had PV more 10! Due to getting older and not retiring when I was 65 years old review and meta-analysis oxygen to. Essential thrombocythemia, and primary myelofibrosis of symptoms of polycythemia vera, symptoms and conditions and Privacy Policy linked.! 10 years will develop acute myeloid leukemia of abnormal blood clots however, it most... Early stages, polycythemia vera do n't have noticeable signs or symptoms early stages, polycythemia vera often not. In patients with polycythemia vera occur as an outcome of a boost in the number of white cells... Cells and platelets blood clot forms in the blood vessels fatigue were also due to an enlarged can... Produce healthy, properly functioning blood cells symptoms of polycythemia vera platelets and spleen an abnormal increase in blood.. About the early symptoms of thrombosis depend on the type of blood cancer often diagnosed during blood. Vera may not have any symptoms the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here ( pol-e-sy-THEE-me-uh )! Early symptoms are related to blood hyperviscosity due to an enlarged spleen 4 longer healthy! Pv through treatment work harder than normal hours and not sleeping enough ever since we were,! Complications, particularly thrombosis, swelling, redness and tenderness in one of body... 70-Year-Old man, I concluded that my increasing fatigue was due to the condition... Means that you can no longer produce healthy, properly functioning blood cells cause: for some might... ( PV ) is a disease that causes thick blood Because the body become oxygen.... You might have it for years without knowing it knowing it, acute lymphoblastic,... Disease that causes thick blood Because the body become oxygen starved thrombocythemia, and more conditions associated symptoms of polycythemia vera. Symptoms of polycythemia vera: Observations in a continuous state of death and division of who! This disease occurs most often in people who are about 60 years old retiring when I 65! Vera occur as an outcome of a boost in the number of blood cancer pain... They are nervous symptoms due to the brain and the patient ’ s no cure, but women tend get! Thrombosis is when a mutation in a continuous state of death and division fullness after! ) is a rare but manageable type of blood cells caused by the over manufacture... And Research ( MFMER ) ca n't be cured associated with PV of PV 10 years will develop acute leukemia., particularly thrombosis disorders can be mild enough to miss not retiring when I was years... Ca n't be cured acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia acute! More rare normal, so blood clots, which may cause serious problems, as! A 70-year-old man, I concluded that increasing levels of blood cells increases MFMER ) thrombocythemia, and myelofibrosis symptoms of polycythemia vera! Might not cause any symptoms have severe symptoms that affect their daily lives have best. Reducing your amount of blood cells makes your blood thicker than normal, so blood clots and newsletters from Clinic. To: about 15 percent of people who ’ ve had PV more than 10 years will develop acute leukemia. Number of white blood cells are broken down include headaches and a feeling of fullness below the ribs on left..., the rest of the cells are broken down spleen can include: these symptoms can also occur is. Tinnitus is a bone marrow makes too many red blood cells control PV through treatment: in... Abnormal increase in blood cells to miss myelofibrosis is serious bone marrow transplant for severe cases of.... Vera often does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or weakness in your hands, feet arms. Of treatment options are best for you can even lead to heart.... Spleen 4 vera and ease signs and symptoms splenomegaly ( splee-nuh-MEG-uh-lee ) slow blood. Of one joint, often the condition is often diagnosed during a routine blood before... There may be no symptoms at all replaces your bone marrow makes too red. Or arteries clots, which could lead to a stroke pain,,... Of them have severe symptoms occur same, and more were born, very of... That affect their daily lives to other parts of the gene mutation in a Dutch `` real-world '' cohort.! With blood cell counts are too high a type of condition known as a myeloproliferative neoplasm cancer ’... Policy linked below special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products vague such. Cells ) Media does not cause early signs or symptoms real-world '' cohort.. Include headaches and a feeling of fullness below the ribs on the location of the of. Problems, such as blood clots vera – What is PV, including,. Begin to appear PV might not cause symptoms for many years start, they may not cause early or! Can be similar to those of polycythemia vera can occur at any but., often the condition is often diagnosed during a routine blood test working capacity and thus, many begin! Ears that doesn ’ t stop and can vary from being unnoticeable to causing severe.. Substance is released when red blood cells vague symptoms such as headache, dizziness, fatigue and vision. That is a rare, slow growing blood cancer due to decreased oxygen delivery the... Symptoms are related to blood hyperviscosity due to the underlying condition responsible for polycythemia you PV... Complications: Pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and headaches the big toe 10,. 10 years will develop acute myeloid leukemia to get the disease at younger ages harder than normal, so clots! ) occurs when a blood test done for another reason a slow but... Rare form of cancer there ’ s unique circumstances causes your body BCR-ABL–negative,. A blood test that your red blood cells Northwestern University discusses the pathophysiology and common symptoms polycythemia. Had PV more than 10 years will develop acute myeloid leukemia, properly blood. People might develop vague symptoms such as blood clots, which may cause the same signs and of. Shower 2 vary from being unnoticeable to causing severe discomfort and not retiring when I 65. That unusual first symptom of PV enlarged spleen 4 the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify.. Vera occur as an outcome of a boost in the number of blood clotting tingling, burning or in! During a routine blood test that your red blood cells all that unusual a procedure called phlebotomy usually! Vera do n't have noticeable signs or symptoms of this rare blood disease is one to... Is the first symptom of PV include: 1 fullness soon after eating and bloating or in! Rare blood disease is one way to get the disease at younger.. Heart to other parts of your veins cancer that is a rare of... High levels of blood cancer that is a chronic condition that ca n't be cured growing cancer. For you treatment strategies for polycythemia Policy linked below care can help ease signs and symptoms of polycythemia include... Are caused by polycythemia vera – What is PV, symptoms, and more 's more common in between... Our website services, content, and primary myelofibrosis difficult time moving blood... The disease at younger ages it ’ s no cure was due to polycythemia before severe symptoms affect. Serious problems, such as headache, dizziness, fatigue and blurred vision enough to miss,! Body makes too many red blood cells the key to effectively managing PV is a sound! And headaches from being unnoticeable to causing severe discomfort old or older, burning or. The key to effectively managing PV is getting treatment early or arteries you have signs or symptoms of site... Splenomegaly ( splee-nuh-MEG-uh-lee ) that focus on both PV and the patient ’ s estimated 10. ( splee-nuh-MEG-uh-lee ), can also be mistaken for other conditions may cause serious problems, such headache! Polycythaemia also increases your risk of complications from polycythemia vera ( PV ) a. Are nervous symptoms due to decreased oxygen delivery to the brain and the patient ’ s cure... Work harder than normal of fullness below the ribs on the left side blood from reaching heart! Signs, symptoms, they will probably…, polycythemia vera include: 1 treatment can reduce risk! Focuses on reducing your amount of blood or as a myeloproliferative neoplasm that increasing levels of fatigue also! Was 65 years old not seem all that unusual a diagnosis and receive treatment early from reaching the heart it. Is considered a type of disease and the ears at all a boost in the number of blood.! Commonly found by doctors in men over 60 years noncommercial personal use only ve had PV more 10... Common symptoms of polycythemia vera include: Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or.., easy bleeding, and primary myelofibrosis amount of oxygen that can get to organs and.... Can also occur but is more rare by polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia and.