Why can’t you donate blood if you have polycythemia vera?
Polycythemia vera occurs when a mutation in a gene causes a problem with blood cell production. Normally, your body regulates the number of each of the three types of blood cells you have — red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. But in polycythemia vera, your bone marrow makes too many of some of these blood cells. The treatment of polycythemia vera is aimed at reducing the levels of red blood cells and preventing the complications of the disorder especially blood clot formation.
Age of onset can vary for different diseases and may be used by a doctor to determine the diagnosis. For some diseases, symptoms may begin in a single age range or several age ranges. For other diseases, symptoms may begin any time during a person’s life. Without treatment, polycythemia vera can be life-threatening.
Some people with PV also have too many white blood cells and platelets in their blood. Polycythemia vera may be discovered through a blood count done for another reason, even before people have any symptoms. The number of red blood cells, the level of the protein that carries oxygen in red blood cells and the percentage of red blood cells in the total blood volume are abnormally high. The number of platelets and white blood cells may also be increased. Polycythemia vera (pol-e-sy-THEE-me-uh VEER-uh) is a type of blood cancer.
Talking with the Medical Team
Certain genes control how many blood cells the bone marrow makes. The average age of people diagnosed with polycythemia vera is 60–65 years. Most people with polycythemia vera do not have a family history of this disease. The most common ages for symptoms of a disease to begin is called age of onset.
Specific gene testing
If you are worried or notice any new symptoms between appointments, tell your specialist doctor or nurse as soon as possible. If you have had tuberculosis or hepatitis B or C in the past, ruxolitinib may make it active again. Your doctor will give you treatment to reduce the risk of this happening. Chemotherapy may affect the development of an unborn baby.
Treatment options include phlebotomy and drug therapy. In people with polycythemia vera , the bone marrow produces too many blood cells. This overproduction can lead to complications, such as abnormal blood clotting, unusual bleeding, and an enlarged spleen.