Is polycythemia vera ruba blood cancer?

5 answers | Last updated: Nov 05, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

If diagnosed with polycythemia vera ruba, is this a blood cancer?


Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Polycythemia vera ruba is not cancer, but rather a blood disease.  It may have a genetic cause, but medical research is still looking into this.  Basically, the bone marrow is overstimulated, and produces too many red blood cells.  Sometimes people with this disease can have double the amount of red blood cells that are normal.  People with this condition are prone to blood clots, so they should be on aspirin if they are able to help to reduce that risk.

Treatment for this condition include phlebotomy (bloodletting), which reduces blood volume.  Sometimes, certain chemotherapuetic drugs are given, as they suppress the bone marrow and keep red blood cells from being made so rapidly. 


Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

ALTHOUGH THIS IS NOT CANCER IT CAN BE DEADLY. I HAVE IT AND HAVE BEEN HOSPITALIZED SEVERAL TIMES WITH BLOOD CLOTS AND HAVE BY WEEKLY VISTS WITH MY DOCTOR.THIS ALSO OFTEN INVOLVES GREAT PAIN,BREATHING PROBLEMS.ETC. THIS IS NOTHING TO FOOL WITH.ALL NEED SUPERVISION.


Polycythemia vera answered...

Actually the first two answers is VERY wrong, YES it is cancer, Polycythemia vera is a form of Leukemia. You can email any of the top cancer researchers and they will agree. In 2008 MPD's was changed to MPN's. At this time Polycythemia vera was reclassified as a form of leukmeia and yes CANCER. The Mayo clinic and MD Anderson clinic is specialists and the leading researchers in PV and they too confirm it is CANCER. you can do a youtube search for "POLYCYTHEMIA VERA (PV) - Mayo Clinic" and listen to the video at :50-:56. Ruben mesa is the leading Polycythemia vera researcher and is heading the MPN genetic research at 23andme. Also youtube search " Polycythemia Vera 2012 Updates - Mayo Clinic " and listen at :36 - :40. Also youtube search "Survival Data for Patients Younger Than 60 With Primary Myleofibrosis--Mayo Clinic Proceedings". You can also google "cancer cluster polycythemia vera" and see where even the center for disease control lists Polycythemia vera as CANCER. Leukemia (American English) or leukaemia (British English) (from the Greek leukos λευκός "white", and haima αἷμα "blood"[1]) is a type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of immature white blood cells called "blasts". Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases. In turn, it is part of the even broader group of diseases affecting the blood, bone marrow, and lymphoid system, which are all known as hematological neoplasms. Cancer Listeni/ˈkænsər/, known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a broad group of various diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably. In the most recent World Health Organization classification of Hematologic malignancies, this group of diseases was renamed from "myeloproliferative diseases" to "myeloproliferative neoplasms".[2] This reflects the underlying clonal genetic changes that are a salient feature of this group of disease. I hope this helps you understand that yes this is Cancer and I am sorry the other 2 people gave you false answers.


Polycythemia vera answered...

In 2001, the World Health Organization classified "chronic eosinophilic leukemia / hypereosinophilic syndrome" and chronic neutrophilic leukemia under "Chronic myeloproliferative diseases". Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)

Polycythemia vera (PV) Essential thrombocytosis (ET) Myelofibrosis (MF)

all form the MPN's. The difference between CML and PV is the absense of the Phillidelphia gene.


A fellow caregiver answered...

i totally agree with polycythemia vera's answer. it is cancer. i was diagnosed with it in 2010. i am being treated at Sloan-Kettering cancer center, as it is now progressing into ppv-mf. if not cancer, how did AFLAC give me my lump sum payment for cancer diagnosis.