Types of Blood Diseases & Disorders
Hematology, the study and treatment of blood disorders, is usually divided into malignant and non-malignant diseases. At Diablo Valley Oncology / Hematology Medical Group, our physicians have expertise in treating both types of illness.
Cancer medicine and blood medicine are usually treated by the same physicians. In the 1950s and 1960s, the first medically treatable cancer was leukemia, a blood disease cared for by hematologists. Over the years oncology has developed into its own specialty, but hematologists remain at that forefront of administering treatment to patients with malignant blood disorders, as well as benign illnesses. We have board certified hematologists who enjoy seeing the full range of blood disorders.
Malignant Blood Disorders
- leukemias, both acute and chronic
- lymphomas, ranging from low grade to aggressive
- Polycythemia Vera
- Multiple Myeloma
- and a variety of other diseases.
Benign Blood Disorders
Benign blood disorders usually manifest as abnormalities in the complete blood count (CBC). More specifically, patients usually develop a low hemoglobin (anemia), a low white blood count (neutropenia), or low platelets (thrombocytopenia). Other types of benign blood disorders involve abnormalities in the clotting system, which can result in too much clotting (a hypercoagualble state) or not enough clotting (a bleeding disorder). Hypercoaguable state research has been a rapidly progressing field, because of its impacts on obstetrics, in terms of unexplained miscarriages, as well as its impacts on stroke and heart attack patients.
Hematologists often see patients with these types of abnormalities (which may appear to be unrelated to blood disorders), and are instrumental in the diagnosis and treatment of the underlying pathology. To assist in diagnosis, a procedure called a bone marrow aspirate and biopsy is sometimes necessary. We have performed hundreds of these procedures, and patients often comment that the procedure was surprisingly simple and straightforward, especially if they have had a previous experience elsewhere. Our nurse practitioners take extra time to provide the utmost in patient comfort during the procedure, which usually takes less than ten minutes.