Polycythaemia vera (PV)

Polycythaemia vera (PV) is a rare blood cancer that affects the bone marrow. It is sometimes called erythrocytosis which means too many red blood cells.

It is one of a group of conditions called myeloproliferative neoplasms or myeloproliferative disorders.

What is polycythaemia vera (PV)?

Polycythaemia vera (PV) is a type of rare blood cancer that causes your body to make too many red blood cells.

Tests and treatment for polycythaemia vera (PV)

The first test to diagnose polycythaemia vera is usually a blood test. Read about the tests to diagnose PV and the treatment you might have. 

Research and coping with polycythaemia vera (PV)

Researchers around the world are looking at better ways to treat polycythaemia vera. You can also read about organisations and resources that can help you cope. 

Last reviewed: 
12 Dec 2023
Next review due: 
12 Dec 2026

Page Credits

This section has been written, reviewed and updated by Cancer Research UK’s Patient Information Web Team. Thanks to the expert medical professionals and people affected by cancer who have helped to review this information.

  • Professor Claire Harrison- Professor of Myeloproliferative Neoplasms, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust