Have you ever heard of polycythemia vera (PV)?
Me neither, and that’s why I had to do some digging.
There were quite a few facts that carried some heart-string shock value.
Why Be Stunned?
A way that doctors frequently catch polycythemia vera is by performing a blood test for a completely different reason. What’s that mean? It means a parent takes their child to a routine doctor’s appointment, a blood test is ordered, and the results come back with an “abnormal” finding.
Then, the conversation turns from bad to worse all too quickly.
When a child becomes sick, parents and caregivers want answers—and they want them fast.
But can you imagine hearing “polycythemia vera”? I feel a pit in my stomach just thinking about it.
Copy Cat Symptoms
Although there is a more comprehensive list of symptoms, polycythemia vera can imitate signs of a cold or flu:
- Feeling weak and tired
But we’re not talking about just the sniffles. We’re talking about a persistent list of symptoms that mimic other conditions.
Zero to Sixty
Searching for an underlying diagnosis for any rare condition may be a very long and frustrating experience. Since polycythemia vera is one of the rarer forms of blood cancer, it would not be an expected diagnosis.
Polycythemia vera progresses slowly. Once patients become aware of the illness, treatment is crucial, as proper care generally allows a much better quality of life. Without treatment, polycythemia vera can develop into another form of cancer.
The health library of the Medical University of South Carolina offers a very fruitful article that provides answers to a whole list of questions:
The tips provided in the “Key Points” and “What Do I Do Next?” sections near the end really hit home with solid common sense guidance for a parent or caregiver dealing with the shock of a polycythemia vera diagnosis. I encourage you to check it out!