Hematology-Oncology and Blood Cancers

Hematology-Oncology and Blood Cancers

Blood consists of four components – white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets and plasma – that help oxygenate our organs and tissues, act as a defense against infections and form clots to stop bleeding. But these components may also indicate the presence of abnormalities, which sometimes lead to blood cancers. That’s where hematology-oncology comes into play. Here’s a breakdown of this segment of oncologic medicine – and a look at what you can expect at the hematology-oncology clinic at Regional Cancer Care Associates.

Hematology-Oncology

Hematology-oncology refers to the combined medical practice of hematology (the study of the blood’s physiology) and oncology (the study of cancer). This type of medicine diagnoses and treats cancerous blood disorders and cancers, and manages symptoms of these diseases and resultant tumors (if present). Hematologists-oncologists treat:

  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Hemophilia
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Thalassemia
  • von Willebrand disease
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Clotting disorders

When to See a Hematologist-Oncologist

Though no two blood cancers are the same, each variation of the disease offers some telltale warning signs that it might be time to consult with a hematology-oncology specialist. Symptoms of blood cancer can include:

  • Fever, chills, coughing or chest pain
  • High frequency of infectious illnesses
  • Itchy areas of the skin or a rash
  • Constant weakness, fatigue or night sweats
  • Difficulty catching your breath

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, a hematologist-oncologist will conduct a variety of tests, such as blood screens, bone marrow exams, diagnostic imaging tests and more, to determine the root cause of your symptoms and whether they are related to cancer.

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