Hematology-Oncology is a field of medicine that has to do with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of blood diseases and cancer. In addition to all these, this field also deals with the research into this type of diseases. Some of the diseases that can be classified under this field include leukemia, lymphomas, sickle cell disease, hemophilia, cancers of other organs and so on. An individual that studies this field of medicine is known as a specialist in Hematology-Oncology. The goal of a specialist in this field is to offer treatment and supportive care for patients affected by blood disorders and cancer. A specialist in these two fields is trained in both hematology and oncology. Hematology is the study of blood, and its disorders while oncology is the study of cancer. A specialist in this field does specialize in the treatment of blood cancers, such as leukemia, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma and so on. They may also specialize in the treatment of solid tumors. The route to becoming a Hematologist-Oncologist is by going into the residency, which usually lasts for about 2 to 4 years. This residency includes both outpatient and inpatient rotations. During this training, the individual is exposed to different ways of managing different types of cancer, and blood disorders. However, most of the hematology-oncology graduate end up focusing on just the oncology part. They do have a good grasp of the two fields and are better positioned and qualified to treat any disease that cuts across the two fields.
Why You Should See a Hematologist-Oncologist
People would only consult a hematologist-oncologist if there is an abnormality in the blood test of the patient. The blood is made of two major components. The cellular part, and the non-cellular part. The cellular part has components such as the white blood cells, red blood cells, and the platelets. The function of the red blood cell is to transport oxygen and nutrients. The function of the white blood cell is to fight diseases, and the function of the platelet is it makes the blood clot and prevent bleeding. There is a problem when anyone has less than or more than the normal amount of these cells. A hematologist would conduct tests, to evaluate and give a proper diagnosis of the condition. Anyone that feels tired frequently, after little work should consult a hematologist. Also, people with recurrent infections might want to see their doctor for evaluation.
What Does A Hematologist Diagnose?
As earlier mentioned, hematology is the study of blood. The blood has both the cellular and the non-cellular components. The cellular components have the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Any imbalance in the level of any of the components would affect the health of the patients. These diseases can incapacitate the patient, and even lead to death in severe cases. Some of the common blood disorders a hematologist can diagnose include anemia, bleeding disorders, which includes hemophilia, leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. Although a hematologist can diagnose blood cancers, a hematologist-oncologist is more suited to treat the disease.
What Are Some Common Blood Disorders?
Below are some of the common blood disorders;
- Anaemia: According to statistics, this is the most common blood disorder. Anemia is a condition in which the body has low hemoglobin The hemoglobin is a component of the red blood cell, and it’s important for the transfer of oxygen. Basically, anemia is when the red blood cells do not function well. There are different types of anemia, which includes iron deficiency anemia, blood loss anemia, aplastic anemia, nutritional anemia and so on. Some of the symptoms of anemia include weakness, shortness of breath, chest pain, headache, arrhythmia, and so on. Anemia is a treatable disease, and the treatment solely depends on the kind of anemia the patient has. For iron deficiency anemia, due to blood loss, the physician would evaluate the patient for any gastrointestinal bleeding. While for nutritional anemia, the physician would administer some food supplements and so on.
- Leukaemia: Leukemia can be described as the cancer of the blood. This disease usually starts in the bone marrow and leads to the production of a high amount of abnormal white blood cells. The white blood cells are usually not matured. These types of cells are referred to as blast cells. Some of the symptoms of leukemia include prolonged bleeding, fatigue, fever, anemia, and an increased risk of being infected by diseases. These signs and symptoms are because of the abnormal cells that are being produced by the bone marrow. Leukemia can be diagnosed by carrying out blood tests or taking a sample of the bone marrow for biopsy. The main cause of leukemia is not known yet, however, it has been suggested that this disease might be caused by a combination of both genetics and environmental factors. Some of the risk factors for this disease are smoking, exposure to the high amount of radiation, chemicals, chemotherapy and congenital diseases such as down syndrome. It has been observed that people who have a relative that is affected by this disease have a higher chance of having leukemia. There are 4 main types of leukemia. These are acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and chronic myeloid leukemia.
- Lymphoma: Lymphoma is cancer that involves the cells of the immune system, also known as lymphocytes. These cells belong to the reticuloendothelial They are usually found in organs such as the spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, and so on. These lymphocytes will grow out of control. There are two main types of lymphoma. These are non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma. The non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the most popular type of lymphoma.
- Multiple Myeloma: Multiple myelomas also referred to as plasma cell myeloma is cancer that affects the white blood cell called plasma cells. The plasma cells under normal circumstance help the body to produce antibodies that can identify and fight off diseases and microorganisms. The disease often does not present with signs and symptoms initially, however, some symptoms are presented in the advanced stage of the disease. Some of the signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma include bone pain, recurrent infections, anemia, and bleeding might occur.
Hematologist Near Me
It’s important to visit a hematologist near you if you notice symptoms such as fatigue, skin pallor, and so on. It’s equally important to go for a regular check-up if you have a family history of blood cancers.
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