Hematology is a medical specialty that focuses on diseases of the blood, bone marrow, and lymphatic system. Blood flows to every cell in our body and is extremely important to our survival. Problems with the production of blood cells or cancers that affect the blood can be very dangerous. Hematologists treat these and other diseases, such as:
Anemia, a low level of red blood cells
Low levels of white blood cells or platelets
Bleeding disorders, such as hemophilia
Clotting disorders, such as deep vein thrombosis
Cancers of the blood, such as leukemia and lymphoma
To diagnose a blood disorder, hematologists may look at the blood under a microscope in a procedure called a blood smear. They may order a lab test of the blood called a complete blood count. This test measures the levels of red and white blood cells, platelets, and hemoglobin in your blood. They may do lab tests to measure the levels of proteins in your blood needed for bleeding and clotting. They may even do a bone marrow biopsy to check a small sample of bone marrow for problems in how blood is being produced.
A hematologist may work with all kinds of patients. Specialized hematologists called pediatric hematologists work only with children. All hematologists work to diagnose disease and prescribe treatments in order to care for their patients. They also work with general practice physicians, pediatricians, oncologists, transplant specialists, and others to guide treatment. Healing any problems with your blood is the first step towards your whole body feeling better.