Hematology is a medical specialty concerned with the study of blood and blood-forming tissues. Physicians in this field are known as hematologists. They study, diagnose, and treat blood disorders such as leukemia, anemia, and hemophilia, as well as diseases of the organs that produce blood, including the lymph nodes, bone marrow, and spleen.
Blue Ridge Cancer Care (BRCC) hematologists use laboratory-based blood tests to diagnose a variety of disorders. Of particular importance are blood tests that provide information about the cellular components of a patient's blood. The most common test, called a complete blood count, indicates the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in a given unit of blood.
BRCC hematologists treat chronic blood disorders such as leukemia, a broad group of cancerous diseases of blood-forming organs. The condition affects white blood cells and is usually diagnosed by blood tests that indicate abnormal numbers of these cells. Treatment, which often is coordinated by hematologists and cancer specialists called oncologists, typically involves a combination of drug and radiation therapy and may also include a bone marrow transplant.