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Suggest treatment for polycythemia vera

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Posted on Tue, 8 Jul 2014
Question: I am suffering from Polycythemia Vera. doctors I met suggested a small dose of asprin as a blood thinner and blood donation post blood test every 15 days if Hemoglobin goes above 17. usually on every test my hemoglobin is 20-23.
the same is causing full body mass pain and body swelling.

please suggest if something can cure it permanently.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Monish De (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
phlebotomy

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXXXXX
Polycythemia vera is a slow-growing type of blood cancer in which your bone marrow makes too many red blood cells. Polycythemia vera may also result in production of too many of the other types of blood cells like white blood cells and platelets. These excess cells thicken your blood and cause complications, such as such as a risk of blood clots or bleeding.
Polycythemia vera is a chronic condition that can't be cured. Treatment focuses on reducing your amount of blood cells. In many cases, treatment can prevent complications from polycythemia vera and decrease or eliminate the disease's signs and symptoms.
Treatment may include taking blood out of your veins. Drawing a certain amount of blood out of your veins in a procedure called phlebotomy is usually the first treatment option for people with polycythemia vera. This reduces the number of blood cells and decreases your blood volume, making it easier for your blood to function properly. How often you need phlebotomy depends on the severity of your condition.
Then low dose aspirin can also be taken to reduce your risk of blood clots. Low-dose aspirin may also help reduce burning pain in your feet or hands.
For people with polycythemia vera who aren't helped by phlebotomy alone, medications, such as hydroxyurea to suppress your bone marrow's ability to produce blood cells may be used. Interferon alpha may be used to stimulate your immune system to fight the overproduction of red blood cells.
If you have bothersome itching, your may take medications such as antihistamines, or recommend ultraviolet light treatment to relieve your discomfort. Medications that are normally used to treat depression, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may be helpful in relieving itching. Examples of SSRIs include paroxetine or fluoxetine.
Moderate exercise, such as walking, can improve your blood flow, which decreases your risk of blood clots.Leg and ankle stretches and exercises also can improve your blood circulation.Using tobacco can cause your blood vessels to narrow, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke due to blood clots.
To reduce itching, bathe in cool water and XXXXXXX your skin dry. Avoid hot tubs, heated whirlpools, and hot showers or baths. Try not to scratch, as it can damage your skin and increase the risk of infection. Use lotion to keep your skin moist.
Avoid extreme temperatures. Poor blood flow increases your risk of injury from hot and cold temperatures. In cold weather, always wear warm clothing, particularly on your hands and feet. In hot weather, protect yourself from the sun and drink plenty of liquids.
Poor circulation can make it difficult for sores to heal, particularly on your hands and feet. Inspect your feet regularly and tell your doctor about any sores.
Hope i have answered your query.

Regards
DR De




Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
doctor
Answered by
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Dr. Monish De

Oncologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 2233 Questions

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Suggest treatment for polycythemia vera

Brief Answer: phlebotomy Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Polycythemia vera is a slow-growing type of blood cancer in which your bone marrow makes too many red blood cells. Polycythemia vera may also result in production of too many of the other types of blood cells like white blood cells and platelets. These excess cells thicken your blood and cause complications, such as such as a risk of blood clots or bleeding. Polycythemia vera is a chronic condition that can't be cured. Treatment focuses on reducing your amount of blood cells. In many cases, treatment can prevent complications from polycythemia vera and decrease or eliminate the disease's signs and symptoms. Treatment may include taking blood out of your veins. Drawing a certain amount of blood out of your veins in a procedure called phlebotomy is usually the first treatment option for people with polycythemia vera. This reduces the number of blood cells and decreases your blood volume, making it easier for your blood to function properly. How often you need phlebotomy depends on the severity of your condition. Then low dose aspirin can also be taken to reduce your risk of blood clots. Low-dose aspirin may also help reduce burning pain in your feet or hands. For people with polycythemia vera who aren't helped by phlebotomy alone, medications, such as hydroxyurea to suppress your bone marrow's ability to produce blood cells may be used. Interferon alpha may be used to stimulate your immune system to fight the overproduction of red blood cells. If you have bothersome itching, your may take medications such as antihistamines, or recommend ultraviolet light treatment to relieve your discomfort. Medications that are normally used to treat depression, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may be helpful in relieving itching. Examples of SSRIs include paroxetine or fluoxetine. Moderate exercise, such as walking, can improve your blood flow, which decreases your risk of blood clots.Leg and ankle stretches and exercises also can improve your blood circulation.Using tobacco can cause your blood vessels to narrow, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke due to blood clots. To reduce itching, bathe in cool water and XXXXXXX your skin dry. Avoid hot tubs, heated whirlpools, and hot showers or baths. Try not to scratch, as it can damage your skin and increase the risk of infection. Use lotion to keep your skin moist. Avoid extreme temperatures. Poor blood flow increases your risk of injury from hot and cold temperatures. In cold weather, always wear warm clothing, particularly on your hands and feet. In hot weather, protect yourself from the sun and drink plenty of liquids. Poor circulation can make it difficult for sores to heal, particularly on your hands and feet. Inspect your feet regularly and tell your doctor about any sores. Hope i have answered your query. Regards DR De