Polycythemia vera is a chronic, slow-growing cancer. Bone marrow makes too many red blood cells, and sometimes white blood cells and platelets, too. The excess cells can cause blood clots or bleeding. It may develop over years and is often found by chance in a blood test.
Many people with polycythemia vera don't have signs or symptoms. Others might experience itchiness, especially after a warm bath or shower; numbness or tingling in the hands or feet; or excessive sweating.
Treatments include drugs and drawing blood to reduce its thickness.
Last Updated Jan 23, 2020