Useful and Helpful Tips for Rare Polycythemia Vera

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.

Holy Mother of God. Source: www.giphy.com

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:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • 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.

Say what? Source: www.giphy.com

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:

  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Complications

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!


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