A hematology is the branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis, treatment and management of blood and diseases of blood. The healthcare professional who deals with blood diseases is known as hematologists. All types of blood disorders and infections are managed under this branch of medicine. The bone marrow from which the blood cells are produced is also treated in hematology. In hematology, different blood tests are performed to help in the diagnosis of blood disorders like infection in blood, blood loss and cancer agents in blood. Bone marrow test is also performed where cells are derived from bone marrow to test for different kinds of diseases or to find the origin of blood disorders. Blood diseases can be non-cancerous or cancerous. Most of the time, the cancer found in children is related to the blood or blood cells. A team of healthcare professionals works together to provide the best treatment for each individual. The patient is treated as a whole and not just the part of disease. The management and counseling of patients and their family members is almost a part of every branch of medicine nowadays because it affects the health of a patient. The counseling also helps the family of a patient to provide care and support to the patient throughout the disease.
The functions and the components of blood are as follow:
Blood Components: Blood consists of many components which includes red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Each component of blood has its own unique functions in the body.
Functions of Blood Cells: Red Blood Cells (RBCs): RBCs carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body and transport carbon dioxide back to the lungs in the process of breathing.
White Blood Cells (WBCs): WBCs are a part of the body's natural defense system. WBCs protect the body against infections, viruses, and any harmful chemical that enters the body.
Platelets: Platelets are important for blood clotting. It helps to prevent excess bleeding during injury.
Bone marrow: Bone marrow is the central part of the bone where all the blood cells are formed and mature into different types of cells.
Hematopoiesis: Hematopoiesis is the process in which blood cells are formed. This process occurs in the bone marrow and involves the maturation of stem cells into various types of blood cells.
Here are some of the diseases which are treated in the hematology department:
Anemia is a disease in which there is a lower than normal level of red blood cells in the blood. It can be due to different reasons which include nutritional deficiencies, long-term diseases, and genetic disorders.
Hemophilia is a genetic disorder in which excess bleeding occurs after any injury. This can lead to loss of blood and can cause life-threatening conditions.
Thrombocytopenia is a condition in which there is lower than normal level of platelets in the blood. Platelets are important for blood clotting, so individuals with thrombocytopenia get bruises very easily and suffer from excess bleeding.
Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the bone marrow and blood-forming tissues. It leads to the production of abnormal white blood cells, which can crowd out healthy cells and impact the body's ability to fight infections.
Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that occurs in the lymphatic system. It involves the abnormal growth of lymphocytes which is a type of white blood cell.
This is a cancer of plasma cells which helps in the defense against harmful substances by producing antibodies. Multiple myeloma can weaken bones and compromise the immune system.
Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder in which red blood cells form in an abnormal shape. These abnormal cells can cause problems in blood vessels that can lead to pain, organ damage, and an increased risk of infections.
This is a condition where the bone marrow produces too many red blood cells which causes thickness of blood that can damage the blood vessels and can disturb the function of the heart.
Myelodysplastic syndromes are a group of diseases where the bone marrow does not produce enough healthy blood cells that ultimately leads to anemia and other complications of blood.
Here are some types of treatments in Hematology:
Blood transfusion is the type of treatment in which the blood is transferred to the patient’s body from a blood donor. This is often used to treat anemia, thrombocytopenia, and other conditions that involve low levels of blood in the body. This is one of the most common treatments in hematology.
Radiation therapy treatment is used to treat several types of blood cancers. In radiation therapy, the high energy rays are used to destroy the cancer cells. The radiation therapy can be given from outside the body or a radioactive material can be placed inside the tumor to treat cancer.
Targeted therapy is also used to treat different types of blood cancer. This treatment involves some medications that block the growth and attack the environment of cancer cells. Targeted drug therapy is used in combination with other treatments.
Stem cell transplantation is the treatment in which a diseased bone marrow is replaced with healthy bone marrow for the production of new blood cells. This is usually used when there is a defect in the production of blood cells. Stem cell transplant is also known as bone marrow transplant.
Immunotherapy is used to strengthen the natural defense mechanism of the body. In this way, the body can fight against the harmful substances present in the blood. This approach can be used to treat various blood cancers and infections.
Anticoagulant medications are used for the prevention of blood clot formation in the blood vessels. This treatment is usually used for the thinning of blood.
Iron chelation therapy is used in the treatment of conditions where excess iron accumulates in the body due to multiple blood transfusions. This treatment helps in removing excess iron in the body to prevent any complications.
Gene therapy is the advanced treatment in which the diseased gene is replaced with a healthy gene in advance. It can be used for many blood disorders that are genetically transferred.
Plasmapheresis is the treatment that involves removing the liquid portion of blood from the body and replacing it with healthy plasma. This treatment can be used to manage conditions where the blood has harmful substances and chemicals.
Antibiotics and antiviral medications are used to treat many types of infection in the body. Infectious diseases of blood are also treated with these medications.
Palliative care involves care and supportive treatment. In palliative care, the symptoms of the patient are managed like pain, vomiting and headache. This treatment is usually used when the blood disease cannot be cured completely or present at its last stage.
Lifestyle changes are also the part of management of many diseases such as adopting a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and avoiding certain activities. This can improve the overall health in individuals with blood disorders.
Some of the diagnostic tools that used in hematology are as follow:
The medical history involves the discussion of the patient's medical background, including any family history of hematological disorders. A thorough physical examination is performed to evaluate symptoms, signs of anemia, tendencies for bleeding, and other pertinent observations.
Hematology diagnosis usually based on blood tests. A complete blood count (CBC) measures blood cell numbers and types, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Changes in cell counts can be the sign of any hematologic disorder.
A blood smear test uses a blood sample under a microscope to analyze the shape, size, and appearance of blood cells. This helps in identifying any abnormality in the structure of blood cells such as sickle cells, irregular white blood cells, and more.
In this test, a sample of bone marrow is extracted for examination. This procedure provides valuable information about blood cell production and development. It is often used to diagnose conditions where bone marrow is involved.
Coagulation assessments examine blood clotting mechanisms. Tests like prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) assist in diagnosing clotting disorders.
Genetic tests reveal abnormal genes that are linked to blood disorders like sickle cell anemia and thalassemia. Molecular testing detects specific genetic markers connected with various hematological conditions.
Flow cytometry tells about characteristics of each cell. It is particularly helpful in diagnosing leukemia and lymphoma by identifying abnormal cell populations.
This technique uses antibodies to identify particular proteins in tissue samples that helps in diagnosing cancer related to hematology.
X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET) scans are used to see the clear picture of structure in which blood cells are present.
The cost of hematology treatment in India ranges from 6000 USD to 21,000 USD. The cost can vary according to the condition of each patient at the time of diagnosis. The cost can also vary according to the facilities of the hospital and the experience of a surgeon.
|Treatment Costs in India||Min Cost in Dollar||Max Cost in Dollar|
|Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant||6393 USD||8524 USD|
|Bone Marrow Transplant||7992 USD||10656 USD|
|Bone Marrow Cancer||9057 USD||12076 USD|
|Haploidentical Bone Marrow Transplant||13320 USD||17760 USD|
|Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant||6393 USD||8524 USD|
|Thalassemia Treatment||11721 USD||15628 USD|
|Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant||11721 USD||15628 USD|
|Aplastic Anemia Treatment||15984 USD||21331 USD|
|Leukemia Treatment||9590 USD||12787 USD|
|Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia Treatment in Adults||9057 USD||12076 USD|
Some of the symptoms related to blood diseases are as follow:
Some of the risk factors that are associated with blood disorders are as follow:
There are many diseases related to hematology that occur due to genetic factors. Presence of these genes can increase the risk of certain hematology disorders.
Age can be a risk factor for several blood disorders. For example, leukemia is more common in children and older adults, while other diseases like multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes are more common in older age.
There is a positive correlation between family history of blood disorders and the development of disease in any stage of life.
Long exposure to harmful chemicals and radiation can increase the risk of blood diseases. Those who have occupations related to harmful chemicals are at risk of developing blood cancers.
Some of the viral infections can cause hematologic disorders. For example, the virus that weakens the immune system can also be the risk factor of blood disorders.
Autoimmune disorders are the diseases in which the body's defense system attacks the body’s own cells mistakenly. Some blood disorders can also be due to the body's weak immune system.
These treatments are used to treat cancer but they can also damage healthy blood forming cells and can lead to many blood disorders. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy also affects the bone marrow.
Smoking and certain harmful environmental chemicals have been associated with an increased risk of blood cancers.
There are slightly greater chances of blood disorders in patients who have had other blood diseases before. Sometimes blood diseases do not cure properly and recurrence occurs.
Some medications like chemotherapy drugs can affect blood clotting or blood cell production that can lead to various blood disorders.
Excess of weight can be the risk of many diseases in the body and obesity is also a major risk factor in the development of hematological disorders.
Some hematological diseases are more common in men like hemophilia and others are more common in women.
Deficiencies in certain vitamins, particularly B12, folic acid, and iron, can lead to anemia and other blood-related issues.
Excessive alcohol consumption can negatively impact the ability of bone marrow to produce blood cells and increase the risk of bleeding disorders.
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