You are wondering when should I see the best hematologist near me. If you are familiar with some medical terms, you may know that “haem” refers to blood.
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A hematologist is a person that specializes in studying blood. S/he studies blood components to understand the normal states of blood and to be able to recognize the abnormal condition that can affect the blood.
Your blood has two components:
Plasma is the liquid part of your blood while the cellular components of your blood are the red blood cell, white blood cell, and your blood platelets. These cells perform different functions & they are all important for your body. It is not an overstatement to say they are indispensable to you.
Your red blood cells are important in transporting oxygen to the different part of your body. They can do this because they contain a protein called hemoglobin. They also transport carbon dioxide from the tissues of your body back to your lungs so that they can be removed from your body. They get oxygen from your lungs and transport it to the different parts of your body. Without them, your body will not be adequately oxygenated. Without adequate oxygenation of your body, your health status will be affected.
Your white blood cells help you in fighting infections in your body. Without them, you will be more prone to infection, and you will be getting sick more often. This is why immunocompromised people (people with impairment of their white blood cells) are more prone to getting sick.
Immunocompromised people include:
- HIV positive people
- people with diabetes mellitus
- malignant conditions like lymphomas and leukemia
- chronic use of steroids
- transplant patients
- people using anti-cancer drugs
Your white blood cells include:
- natural killer cells
Monocytes later develop into macrophages. Your white blood cells fight different infectious agents. For example, if you have bacterial infection, your neutrophils respond more. If you have a viral infection, your lymphocyte responds more.
Your platelets also play a vital role in your body. They help you in preventing excessive loss of blood. If you sustain an injury, your blood platelets contain factors that contribute to preventing you from losing blood excessively. These factors are called clotting factors. Red blood cells are also referred to as erythrocytes, while white blood cells are also referred to as leucocytes.
What are Some Common Blood Disorders?
Red blood cell disorders:
- Anemia – a condition in which there is reduced oxygen carrying capacity of blood.
There different types of classifications of anemia:
The classification depends on the size of the red blood cells found under microscopic examination.
Examples of microcytic anemia include:
- iron deficiency anemia
- anemia of chronic inflammation
- sideroblastic anemia
- anemia due to lead poisoning
- Normocytic anemia is seen in bone marrow failure.
- Macrocytic anemia is seen in bone marrow failure
- Macrocytic anemia is seen in vitamin B12 deficiency anemia and folate deficiency
Another classification of anemia is based on the breakdown of red blood cells. Some of the above conditions are inherited while some are acquired.
- Polycythemia – you have an increase in your level of hemoglobin or increased level of your packed cell volume (how much of your blood that is made up of red blood cells). Packed cell volume (PCV) is also known as hematocrit. It can also mean there is too much red blood cell in your circulation. Red blood cells are vital for your living, but when they are too much, it is not good for you. Polycythemia is an example of myeloproliferative disorder.
Types of white blood cell disorders:
- a malignant clonal proliferation of mature B-cells (which include chronic lymphocytic leukemia, multiple myeloma, monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance, lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia
Disorders of platelets include:
- hypercoagulable states (e.g., in a raised level of homocysteine, elevated levels of fibrinogen or dysfunctional fibrinogen)
- disorders of primary hemostasis (e.g., immune thrombocytopenic purpura, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, von Willebrand disease.
- Disorders of secondary hemostasis (hemophilia A, which is due to deficiency of a clotting factor called factor VI.
What are the Symptoms of Blood Disorders?
What you will experience if you have a blood disorder depends on the part of your blood that is affected.
- When you have anemia you will have fatigue, dizziness; you will be lethargic.
- If you have a problem of white blood cell disorder you will be prone to infections; your wounds may not heal early enough.
- If you have a problem with platelet disorder, you can be having excessive bleeding.
Can Cancer be Detected in a Blood Test?
Yes is the answer. Medically there are some things called tumor markers. Medical laboratory scientists and Doctors do use the word. Tumor markers are those things that you see in the blood that show that there is tumor abnormality in some organs in the body. Various tumor markers exist and help you predict that there is a problem with specific organs in the body. Examples include CA 125, PSA, etc. If you have had a cancerous growth in a part of your body before you would have been advised to do a test on some of these tumor markers. For example, if they have suspected that you have prostate cancer before, your PSA level would have been checked before.
When Should I see the Best Hematologist Near Me?
If you have any of the symptoms that have been described for blood disorders above it will be the best for you to visit a hematologist. Hematologists are out there to help you in diagnosing or prevention of worsening of blood diseases. Some blood diseases can be fatal if you won’t treat them early enough. Schedule an appointment today if you suspect that you have any blood disease.
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- Top 31 on Why would I be referred to a hematologist – HealthTap. HealthTap. https://www.healthtap.com/topics/why-would-i-be-referred-to-a-hematologist. Published 2018. Accessed July 29, 2018.
- Blood Disorders. Hematology.org. http://www.hematology.org/Patients/Blood-Disorders.aspx. Published 2018. Accessed July 29, 2018.
- Hematology Appointment – what to expect?. Cancer Chat. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-chat/thread/hematology-appointment-what-to-expect. Published 2018. Accessed July 29, 2018.