Hematology is a branch of internal medicine that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of blood diseases. Examples of blood diseases include hemophilia, leukemia and lymphoma.
Hemato-oncology is a medical field that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of blood cancer. A physician who specialized in Hemato-oncology is called an Hemato-oncologist. Hemato-oncologists may use blood tests, biopsies, endoscopy, bone marrow, aspiration / biopsy, CT scans, MRI scans, x-rays among other methods to help diagnose the cancer or tumor. Therapies may include radiotheraphy, chemotherapy or other means to manage the cancer with the goal of improving and prolonging the quality of life.
Anemia, which can occur in a wide range of types, is indicated by a decrease in the amount of hemoglobin, which is the colored material in red blood cells that transports oxygen to the tissues of the body. Severe anemia can be harmful when it reduces oxygen levels in organs. Anemia, which may be caused by disease or nutritional deficiencies, can be treated with medication.
Bleeding disorders encompass a wide range of medical problems involving inadequate blood clotting or extended or uncontrolled bleeding. The condition may originate with abnormalities in the blood vessels or in the blood itself. Proper blood clotting, called “coagulation,” is a complex process by which specific proteins are triggered to control bleeding. If those proteins are deficient or don’t function properly in blood vessels, excessive bleeding results, potentially leading to anemia—a low red blood cell count. One predominant bleeding disorder, hemophilia, can be treated and controlled by medication to supplement inadequate clotting proteins.
Histiocytosis is an uncommon blood disease that occurs only once in every 200,000 births annually. Patients with histiocytosis develop an excessive number of white blood cells called “histiocytes.” Clumps of histiocytes can attack organs, including the lungs, ears, eyes, liver or the central nervous system. It is often treated with chemotherapy and radiation, even though it is not a form of cancer.
Neutropenia, also known as agranulocytosis, is characterized by an insufficient number of neutrophils or granulocytes—white blood cells. It can occur when the bone marrow does not produce enough neutrophils or when disease kills large number of white blood cells. Loss of significant numbers of neutrophils increases susceptibility to infections.
Sickle-cell disease is the result of genetic abnormalities in hemoglobin, the most important component of red blood cells. Sickle cells contain a chemical variation of the hemoglobin protein. Instead of being round and flexible like regular blood cells, sickle cells are distorted into a rigid crescent or “sickle” shape, restricting their ability to squeeze through the smallest blood vessels, which are called capillaries. When sickle cells become trapped in capillaries, they can block the flow of blood and deprive tissues and organs of oxygen. The acidity of sickle cells also can divert water and potassium from cells, resulting in dehydration. Sickle cells have a significantly shorter life span than regular red blood cells, and as they die off, the red blood cell count declines. That’s why sickle-cell disease is commonly known as sickle-cell anemia.
Thalassemia, also known as Cooley’s anemia, is an inherited disorder that suppresses the body’s ability to manufacture a sufficient number of red blood cells. Because severe anemia can result, must be treated to avoid potentially fatal damage to the heart or liver. Severe thalassemia is treated with blood transfusions and medication, and sometimes with bone marrow transplantation. Milder forms of the disease do not pose as great a survival threat.
Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. As cancer cells clustered in “tumors” grow, they cause damage by replacing normal tissue. Cancer can take many different forms, some of which attack specific organs. Different types of cancer can grow at widely varying rates and respond to differing treatments. Early treatment improves the chances for arresting the disease.
Ewing’s sarcoma is a cancerous bone tumor that arises most commonly during puberty, during rapid growth of the bones. Treatment may include any combination of surgical removal of the tumor, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas are the most common cancers that appear in young people from their late teens to their early 30s. Lymphoma is a malignancy in the lymph system. With proper treatment, about 90 percent of Hodgkin’s disease cases can be cured, and 50 to 80 percent of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cases are curable. Treatment for lymphomas include chemotherapy, radiation and other techniques. The UC Davis Cancer Center is among a small number of institutions nationwide experimenting in the use of monoclonal antibodies to treat lymphomas. When lymphomas absorb these antibodies, which are charged with radioactive iodine, dramatic regressions in the tumors can result. Medical and radiation oncologists work closely with pathologists to determine an accurate diagnosis and the most appropriate course of treatment.
Leukemia and myeloma are both characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells that have similar functions. Leukemia afflicts blood and bone marrow, while myeloma specifically targets a type of white blood “plasma” cells. These diseases are not inherited, but instead result from a genetic injury to the DNA of a cell, triggering abnormal growth that multiplies. Rapid spread of malignant cells interferes with production of healthy blood cells and weakens ability to protect against infections. Leukemia survival rates have more than tripled during the past four decades. The survival rate for children with acute lymphocytic leukemia—one of four forms of the disease — has reached 85 percent.
An anemia which develops as a result of long–term disease is termed as anemia of chronic disease
Hemophilia is a disorder in which one or more of the plasma protein factors needed to form a clot is missing or reduced. The most common type of hemophilia is factor VIII deficiency, or hemophilia A (alpha). The second most common type is factor IX deficiency or hemophilia B (beta).
A failure of the bone marrow to properly form all types of blood cells is called Aplastic anemia.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has many
other names, including acute myelocytic leukemia, acute myelogenous
leukemia, acute granulocytic leukemia, and acute non-lymphocytic
Leukemias are cancers that start in cells that would normally develop into different types of blood cells. “Acute” means that this leukemia can progress quickly if not treated, and would probably be fatal in a few months. “Myeloid” refers to the type of cell this leukemia starts from.
Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL),
also called acute lymphoblastic leukemia, is a cancer that starts from
the early version of white blood cells called lymphocytes in the bone
marrow (the soft inner part of the bones, where new blood cells are
Leukemia cells usually invade the blood fairly quickly. They can then spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), and testicles (in males). Other types of cancer also can start in these organs and then spread to the bone marrow, but these cancers are not leukemia.
Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), also known as chronic myelogenous leukemia, is a type of cancer that starts in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow and invades the blood. In CML, leukemia cells tend to build up in the body over time, but many people don’t have any symptoms for at least a few years. In time, the cells can also invade other parts of the body, including the spleen. CML can also change into a fast-growing acute leukemia that invades almost any organ in the body
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (also known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, NHL, or sometimes just lymphoma) is a cancer that starts in cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the body’s immune system. Lymphocytes are in the lymph nodes and other lymphoid tissues (such as the spleen and bone marrow). These will be described in more detail further on.
A shortage of all types of blood cells. Pancytopenia can be caused by a side effect of many medications (such as azathioprine,methotrexate, and others) or diseases (such as lupus and bone marrow disorders). Treatment is directed toward the underlying cause and may be supplemented by medications that stimulate the bone marrow.
Polycythemia is a condition that
results in an increased level of circulating red blood cells in the
bloodstream. People with polycythemia have an increase in hematocrit,
hemoglobin, or red blood cell count above the normal limits.
Polycythemia is normally reported in terms of increased hematocrit (hematocrit is the ratio of the volume of red blood cells to the total volume of blood) or hemoglobin concentration (hemoglobin is a protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood).
(throm-boe-sie-TOE-sis) is a disorder in which your body produces too
many platelets (thrombocytes), which play an important role in blood
clotting. The disorder is called reactive thrombocytosis when it’s
caused by an underlying condition, such as an infection.
Thrombocytosis may also be caused by a blood and bone marrow disease. When caused by a bone marrow disorder, thrombocytosis is called autonomous, primary or essential thrombocytosis or essential thrombocythemia.
Leukopenia is a decreased number of white blood cells. This can leave a person vulnerable to infections. Inside your bones, there are small but productive factories. These factories are called bone marrow, and some of the products that they make are called white blood cells, or leukocytes, which is the more formal name that literally translates into ‘white cells.’
Eosinophilia (e-o-sin-o-FIL-e-uh) is a higher than normal level of eosinophils. Eosinophils are a type of disease-fighting white blood cell.
A condition where the white blood cell (WBC) count is increased. The white blood cells (WBC) or leukocytes play an important role in the body’s immune system to fight against infections. Various types of WBCs include the neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils and basophils. The neutrophils are the most numerous, followed by the lymphocytes. These cells are produced by the bone marrow.
(THROM-bo-si-to-PE-ne-ah) is a condition in which your blood has a lower
than normal number of blood cell fragments called platelets
Platelets are made in your bone marrow along with other kinds of blood cells. They travel through your blood vessels and stick together (clot) to stop any bleeding that may happen if a blood vessel is damaged. Platelets also are called thrombocytes (THROM-bo-sites) because a clot also is called a thrombus.
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
(ITP) is a disorder that can lead to easy or excessive bruising and
bleeding. The bleeding results from unusually low levels of platelets —
the cells that help your blood clot.
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, which is also called immune thrombocytopenic purpura, affects both children and adults. Children often develop idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura after a viral infection and usually recover fully without treatment. In adults, however, the disorder is often chronic.
Platelets are little pieces of blood cells. Platelets help wounds heal and prevent bleeding by forming blood clots. Your bone marrow makes platelets. Problems can result from having too few or too many platelets, or from platelets that do not work properly.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs
when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in
your body, usually in your legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain
or swelling, but may occur without any symptoms.
Deep vein thrombosis can develop if you have certain medical conditions that affect how your blood clots. Deep vein thrombosis can also happen if you don’t move for a long time, such as after surgery, following an accident, or when you are confined to a hospital or nursing home bed.
Cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) is a rare type of cerebrovascular disease that can occur at any age, including in neonates, and it accounts for 0•5% of all stroke. The widespread use of neuroimaging now allows for early diagnosis and has completely modified our knowledge on this disorder. CVT is more common than previously thought and it is recognised as a non-septic disorder with a wide spectrum of clinical presentations, numerous causes, and usually a favourable outcome with a low mortality rate.
Von Willebrand disease (VWD) is the most common type of bleeding disorder. People with VWD have a problem with a protein in their blood called von Willebrand factor (VWF) that helps control bleeding. When a blood vessel is injured and bleeding occurs, VWF helps cells in the blood, called platelets, mesh together and form a clot to stop the bleeding. People with VWD do not have enough VWF, or it does not work the way it should. It takes longer for blood to clot and for bleeding to stop.
Disseminated intravascular coagulation (ko-ag-u-LA-shun), or DIC, is a condition in which blood clots form throughout the body’s small blood vessels. These blood clots can reduce or block blood flow through the blood vessels, which can damage the body’s organs.
Recurrent pregnancy loss is classically defined as the occurrence of three or more consecutive pregnancy loss; however, the. A pregnancy loss is defined as a clinically-recognized pregnancy involuntarily ending before 20 weeks. A clinically-recognized pregnancy means that the pregnancy has been visualized on an ultrasound or that pregnancy tissue was identified after a pregnancy loss.
(AN-te-fos-fo-LIP-id) antibody syndrome (APS) is an autoimmune disorder.
Autoimmune disorders occur if the body’s immune system makes antibodies
that attack and damage tissues or cells.
Antibodies are a type of protein. They usually help defend the body against infections. In APS, however, the body makes antibodies that mistakenly attack phospholipids—a type of fat.