Blood Cancer Disease
At Kymera Cancer Treatment Centers, we understand that a cancer diagnosis affects all aspects of your life including family, home, and careers.
Our patients appreciate the comfort and security of being able to stay home, continue to work and be with their family during treatment. We accommodate patients in a timely fashion, facilitating second opinions and coordinating care with nationally recognized cancer facilities.
Our board-certified Hematologists and Oncologists provide trusted up-to-date cancer care utilizing evidenced based treatment modalities which have been shown to improve patient outcomes.
What Is a Hematologist?
A hematologist is a board-certified medical specialist who practices in the study of blood, blood diseases, and the organs associated with the formation of blood. The specialty requires several additional years in postgraduate medical education and training.
As a branch of internal medicine, hematology includes diagnosing, treating, and preventing blood-related disorders. Your Kymera Hematologist is highly skilled in the physiology, pathology, etiology, and diagnosis of blood disorders.
What are the Symptoms of a Blood Disorder or Disease?
Symptoms are dependent on the condition, but most red blood disorders cause the following:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle weakness
- Rapid heartrate
- Shortness of breath
Disorders related to problems with white blood cells may include the following symptoms:
When there is a problem with platelet production, the symptoms will likely include:
- Blood does not clot
- Bleeding from the gums
- Bruising, skin bruises easily
- Cuts and sores heal very slowly or not at all
- Unexplained nosebleeds
What are Common Blood Disorders?
Hematologists treat a wide array of disorders, depending on the specialty area. For instance, some specialize in treating blood conditions common to juveniles while others focus on adult conditions such as blood cancers and related disorders.
The Hematologists at Kymera focus on the latter, bringing a higher standard to blood-borne cancer treatments in Southeast New Mexico. That said, some of the common disorders treated by those in hematology include:
Are Blood Disorders Curable?
That depends on the disorder. Many cases of anemia are related to deficiencies such as not enough iron or B12 in the diet. There are other conditions which, through not perhaps curable, are treatable such that patients learn to live normal lives.
Other conditions, such as sickle cell anemia are inherited and as such, are incurable.
Still other conditions are caused by outside sources and may be curable. Malaria is an example. Caused by a parasite which is transferred to humans via the mosquito bite, malaria is a blood infection which causes fever, organ damage, and often death.
Finally, cancers of the blood like lymphoma and leukemia are not presently said to be “curable,” but advances in treating these diseases have placed many former patients into the category of “in remission.” In such cases, the “cure” often has as much to do with the attitude of the patient as it does the stage and the treatment provided. Remission is a team effort…one worth striving for.
What Tests Can I Expect to Take When Seeing a Hematologist?
If you have been referred to a hematologist, you have likely already had some tests, but your new doctor will certainly run others. Some to expect are a CBC, which stands for complete blood count. This test will provide your doctor with information related to your white blood cell and red blood cell levels (called counts), platelets, and volume.
Yet, more will likely be needed. He may also order lab tests such as
- HCT (Hematocrit red blood cell volume)
- PT test (prothrombin time)
- PTT (partial thromboplastin time)
- INR (international normalized ratio)
- HB (hemoglobin concentration)
- Bone marrow biopsy
Much depends on your exact symptoms and what the doctor suspects could be the cause of your condition.
Do I Need a Referral to See a Hematologist?
The question of a referral most often comes up in association with health insurance. Thus, the answer largely depends on your health insurance carrier. Cash-pay patients can choose any doctor they wish; patients on certain types of health insurance policies must first see their general practitioner to get a referral to a specialist. Hematologists are specialists.
What is a Blood Disorder?
A blood disorder is any condition wherein the blood cells or other vital components are failing to produce as they should. The problem could be with the white blood cells, red blood cells, or platelets.
Platelets are important elements in the blood because they are critical to clotting. Red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body and white cells are involved in helping the immune system fight infections.
When any of these functions fail to perform as they should, a hematologist will identify the problem and recommend ways to either work towards a cure or learn to cope with the condition.