Your blood is made up of plasma, red blood cell, white blood cells and platelets, and has many functions. Not only does it bring oxygen and other nourishment to your body tissues and carry away carbon dioxide and other waste, it must also coagulate or clot when your tissues are injured. When something in your blood is not functioning correctly, you have a hematologic or blood disorder. Hematologists are physicians who study, diagnose and treat these disorders.
Some blood disorders may be malignant. At Minnesota Oncology, our hematologists are also board certified in medical oncology, with specialized training to treat cancers such as lymphomas and leukemias.
If a hematologic disorder is suspected you will most likely require a blood test called a Complete Blood Count or CBC. This test evaluates a small drop of blood and provides the count of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Your physician will also perform other blood tests used to measure enzymes and protein in the blood to evaluate the function of organs such as the thyroid and liver.
Because blood develops from stem cells found in your bone marrow, sometimes a sample of bone marrow must be examined to determine why blood cells are abnormal or why there are too many or too few of any kind. This sample is usually taken from the hip bone and the procedure takes about 30 minutes.
Blood disorder treatments are as varied as the disorders themselves. Some disorders, such as anemia, can be controlled with diet and nutrition. Other blood disorders require more aggressive treatment such as chemotherapy, immunosuppressant drugs, growth factor drugs or bone marrow transplantation. Our hematologists use the latest therapies and technologies to treat all types of blood disorders.
We work closely with our radiation oncologists, pharmacists and other specialists to ensure comprehensive care of our patients. Our in-house laboratories provide quick test results for many routine blood and urine tests to help diagnose your disorder for appropriate treatment as soon as possible.
At Minnesota Oncology, we diagnose and treat many types of blood disorders, including:
Iron Deficiency Anemia
Sickle Cell Anemia
Other Hereditary Anemias
Blood Clotting Disorders
Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation
Acute Lymphotcytic Leukemia (ALL)
Chronic Myelocytic Leukemia (AML)
Acute Myelocytic Leukemia (AML)
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
White Blood Cell Disorders
Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia
Von Willebrand’s Disease
Disorders of Bone Marrow Function