Blood Cancer Diagnosis Facts
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Blood Cancer Diagnosis Facts

Blood cancer is divided into three main varieties: leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Though it is referred to as blood cancer, the disease does not just attack the blood. Depending on the variety of blood cancer it may attack the bone marrow or the lymphatic system of the patient. The course of action and the issues caused by the cancer depends upon the variety of blood cancer diagnosis.

A cancer diagnosis causes a devastating effect on families and the cancer patient. Between the cost of treatment and the prognosis of the disease, a cancer such as blood cancer really takes a toll. However, prior to panicking it is imperative to know exactly what a blood cancer diagnosis suggests.

General Information

Blood cancer is divided into three main varieties: leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Though it is referred to as blood cancer, the disease does not just attack the blood.  Depending on the variety of blood cancer it may attack the bone marrow or the lymphatic system of the patient. The course of action and the issues caused by the cancer depends upon the variety of blood cancer diagnosis. For instance, leukemia disturbs the body's ability to produce adequate amounts of blood, while myelomas affect the plasma cells.

Symptoms   

Just like the classifications of blood cancer, the symptoms vary based on the type of cancer diagnosed and the patient. Leukemia causes anemia which is a decrease in healthy red blood cells. The cancer also causes pain and weakness. Lymphoma patients may experience weakness, fatigue, fever, swollen lymph nodes and night sweats. The other hematological malignancy, multiple myeloma results in bleeding, anemia, bone pain and a weakened immune system that is a cause for an increased occurrence of infection.

Diagnosis

The diagnosing process begins with a physical examination of the patient. At this stage, the physician checks the lymph nodes to detect swelling. He or she may order an x-ray to detect the presence of any masses. Blood work is ordered to get a reading of the patient's complete blood count or CBC. This reading shows the hematologist if there is any increased or decreased levels of blood cells. The next step of diagnosing hematological cancer requires a biopsy to diagnose an unknown form of cancer that the CBC could not determine. 

Physician

Physicians who specialize in hematology are known as hematologist. While most hematologists work with patients who have a hematological disease, other hematologists confine their work to hematology laboratories. The laboratory work concerns the interpretation of various tests and the diagnosis of diseases. Hematologists treat patients with blood diseases that include lymphoma and leukemia. Hemophilia, blood transfusions, bone marrow disorders are also areas of interest for hematologist.

Oncologists are physicians who practice oncology. Oncology includes the initial diagnosis of a tumor or cancerous cells, the various forms of treatment, follow-up care and palliative care of the patient. Many oncologists become a specialist in certain areas of interest and expertise. Physicians may specialize in a wide range of treatment and patient care. An Oncologist can specialize in radiation therapies, surgical treatments, chemotherapy, gynecological, and pediatric. Oncology is an expanding form of medicine due to the tremendous amount of research being conducted in all areas of the field. Today most hospitals have separate wings for the patient treatment of oncology and hematology. Furthermore, quality medical centers specializing in these forms of medicine are growing in number. These centers not only offer the patient treatment and care, but also support services for the patient and their families.

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