What is Hematology?
“Hematology” has its origins in the Greek words haima, which means blood; and logos, which means study or science. So, hematology is the science of blood.
Blood is very different from other body tissue. Our blood is comprised of a solid and a liquid portion. The liquid is called plasma, and the solid is made up of cells.
Cells are the basic units of life. All living beings are made of one or many cells, and the human body has over 75 trillion cells!
In multicellular organisms (like people) each cell performs a specialized function. Our blood cells are highly specialized. Blood is the only tissue made of cells that do not stick together. Other tissues like muscle, skeleton, and nerves are made of cells that fuse together to work cohesively as a tissue. Blood cells, on the other hand, are designed to float separately throughout the length and breadth of our body inside vessels called veins and arteries. Some blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to your tissues. Some fight infection, while others repair the veins and arteries they journey through. There are three main categories of blood cells: white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Each of them has one job to perform in our blood.
When our blood cells aren’t doing their jobs correctly, it can make us sick. There are many different problems that can occur to make your blood cells perform poorly. A hematologist can help recognize what is the exact problem with the sick blood cells and the reason behind it happening in the first place.
Hematologists – The Blood Detectives
Hematologists can practice in a variety of settings, they are highly trained healthcare providers who specialize in the study of diseases of the blood and blood components. These include blood and bone marrow cells. Hematological tests can help diagnose anemia, infection, hemophilia, blood-clotting disorders, and leukemia. At Millennium Cancer Center, our hematologists consult closely with surgeons, radiation oncologists and other specialists to help patients understand their diagnosis, develop bespoke treatment plans, coordinate various facets of care and provide tailor made surgical, chemotherapeutic and immunotherapeutic treatment(s).