Alternate Names : Primary Polycythemia, Polycythemia Rubra Vera
Polycythemia vera is a blood cancer that causes red blood cells to multiply. White blood cells and platelets may also multiply.
What is going on in the body?
Polycythemia vera causes the red blood cells to multiply. Red blood cells are
the oxygen-carrying cells of the body. Other cells of the blood can also
multiply. White blood cells, the infection fighting cells in the body, and
platelets, which help blood to clot, are also usually affected.
What are the causes and risks of the disease?
The cause of polycythemia vera is unknown. It is slightly more common in those
who are Jewish. Men are more commonly affected than women. More than 95% of
cases occur in people older than 40 years of age.