Preparing for your appointment

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?