Why would someone be referred to a hematologist-oncologist? It’s most often because an abnormality was detected during a blood test.
Blood is made up of four components: white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets and plasma, and each has a specific function:
White blood cells fight infection
Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the heart, organs and tissues
Platelets make blood clots and prevent unnecessary bleeding
Plasma is the fluid that carries waste products from the blood to the liver and kidneys
When people have many or not enough of any of the above components, an abnormal blood test result will occur. A hematologist will conduct more tests to determine the cause of the blood abnormality and how to treat it.
What is a hematologist-oncologist?
A hematologist-oncologist is a physician trained in hematology (the study of blood) and oncology (the study of cancer). He or she specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and/or prevention of disorders and cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow and the immunologic, hemostatic (controls bleeding) and vascular systems, such as:
What do hematologists-oncologists do?
These physicians specialize in treating blood cancers, such as Hodgkins and non-Hodgkins lymphomas, leukemias and multiple myelomas. A hematologist-oncologist may also specialize in the management of solid tumors. In most cases, however, hematologists-oncologist don’t treat operable cancers like prostate cancer.