Things to Know When Your Doctor Refers You to a Hematologist

by | Apr 14, 2016 | Cancer Treatment Center

If you are suspected of having or have been diagnosed with a blood condition your primary care physician will refer you to a hematologist. A Hematologist is a physician whose specialty is that of hematology. Hematology is the science of blood and its disorders, conditions, and cancers. This ranges from blood clotting or bleeding disorders, problems with platelets, red and white blood cells, vessels, bone marrow, to blood organs like the spleen. Disorders and conditions that affect the blood impact the entire body because blood delivers oxygen to tissues.

Common blood disorders involve the proteins responsible for hemostasis (bleeding) and thrombosis (clotting). Some conditions result in an inability of the blood to effectively to clot causing excessive bleeding called hemophilia. Blood cancers such as leukemia, myeloma, and lymphoma may occur. The primary forms of blood cancer that can occur and can prompt your physician to Contact Business Name on your behalf include:

  • Leukemia -; The result of rapid overproduction of atypical white blood cells in the bone marrow and blood. Due to an usually large number of irregular white blood cells, they become ineffective in fighting infections. These rogue white blood cells also weaken the bone marrow’s red blood cell and platelet production.

  • Lymphoma -; This blood cancer involves the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps eliminate waste and excess fluid from the body. Lymphoma originates in the lymph nodes found in the abdomen, groin, armpits, and neck. Lymphoma cells are mutated lymphocytes responsible for fighting infections.

  • Myeloma -; A form of cancer that develops in one of the white blood cell types called plasma cells. Healthy plasma cells produce infection and disease-fighting antibodies. Myeloma cells force healthy blood cells out of the bone marrow, weakening the immune system and leaving the body vulnerable to infection.

An appointment with a Hematologist-oncologist is not unlike a visit to a primary care physician. One can expect the doctor to review your medical history, perform an exam, order blood tests and, perhaps, a bone marrow biopsy. The hematologist will work closely with your physician regarding future care and treatment.

Typical treatment methods include an approach called biologic therapy. This method attempts to coax the patient’s immune system into defending the body against infection or disease. Chemotherapy drugs, of course, are employed to kill fungi, viruses, bacteria, and cancerous cells. Blood transfusions are often necessary for those patients with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia.

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