You're likely to start by seeing your primary care physician. If you're diagnosed with polycythemia vera, you might be referred to a doctor who specializes in blood conditions (hematologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
What you can do
Make a list of:
- Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment, and when they began
- Key personal information, including other medical conditions and family medical history
- All medications, vitamins or supplements you take, including doses
- Questions to ask your doctor
Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you're given.
For polycythemia vera, questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- What tests do I need?
- Is this condition temporary, or will I always have it?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Will I need follow-up visits? If so, how often?
- Are there brochures or other printed material I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, including:
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
Feb. 08, 2017
- Tefferi A. Diagnostic approach to the patient with polycythemia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 16, 2016.
- Polycythemia vera. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/poly/. Accessed Nov. 16, 2016.
- Tefferi A. Prognosis and treatment of polycythemia vera. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 16, 2016.
- Polycythemia vera facts. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. https://www.lls.org/llssearch?search-terms=polycythemia+vera&search_language=en. Accessed Nov. 16, 2016.
- Mesa RA, et al. Effect of ruxolitinib therapy on myelofibrosis-related symptoms and other patient-reported outcomes in COMFORT-I: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2013;31:1285.
- Brian JC, et al. Overcoming treatment challenges in myelofibrosis and polycythemia vera: The role of ruxolitinib. Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology. 2016;77:1125.
- Geyer H, et al. Symptomatic profiles of patients with polycythemia vera: Implications of inadequately controlled disease. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2016;34:151.
- Polycythemia vera. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hematology-and-oncology/myeloproliferative-disorders/polycythemia-vera. Accessed Nov. 16, 2016.