ET and PV

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Hi is it possible to have Polycythemia Vera as well as Essential Thrombocytopenia?

  • Hi ,

    My name is Matthew, and I work as part of the Online Community Team. We're the team who work on supporting our Online Community to make sure it stays safe and working well.

    Because your question relates to the diagnosis of a condition, I think it would be best answered by our medically-qualified Cancer Information Nurse SpecialistsTo that end, I have moved your question over to our Ask a Nurse forum so that one of our lovely Nurse team can advise you further. A member of their team will aim to respond within the next 1 to 3 working days.

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  • Hi Soapy1953

    Thanks for getting in touch and welcome to the online community.

    My name is Carla and I’m one of the Cancer information Nurses on the Macmillan Support Line.

    I understand that you asked about Essential ‘Thrombocytopenia’ (low platelets) however I wonder if you meant Essential Thrombocythaemia (ET) which can appear alongside Polycythaemia Vera (PV)?

    As we’re not directly involved with your care and don’t have access to your medical records it may be helpful to clarify the diagnosis with your consultant haematologist or named cancer nurse specialist nurse to be sure that we are giving you the right information.  

    Polycythaemia vera (PV) and essential thrombocythaemia (ET) both belong to a group of blood cancers called Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPN). These conditions have a lot in common and they can occasionally overlap.

    In PV, the body makes too many red blood cells. This can make the blood thicker than normal. Having too many red blood cells increases the risk of unwanted blood clots.

    In ET, the body makes too many platelets. Platelets are cells in the blood that cause it to stick together and form clots to stop bleeding. Having too many platelets increases the risk of having unwanted blood clots. If platelets in the blood do not work properly, it increases the risk of bleeding.

    Treatment for both conditions aim to do the same thing- to lower the risk of a blood clot.

    There is excellent information and support available at MPN Voice.

    I hope this helps to guide you. Please don’t hesitate to come back if you need anything further.

    Best wishes,

    Carla, Cancer Information Nurse Specialist

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email.

    Ref: CC/KA