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Hematology clinics are treatment centers for disorders of the blood. The blood, a bodily tissue, is affected by abnormalities such and sickle-cell anemia and cancers such as leukemia. Hematology clinics give patients access to specialists and the necessary treatment options in one convenient location. Having a centralized location allows physicians to work together to find the most effective treatments for patients.
Many disorders affect the blood, a tissue made of red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and a small amount of connective protein called fibrinogen. Like all bodily tissues, it is susceptible to certain disorders and diseases. One disorder of the blood is hemophilia, a condition where the blood cannot properly coagulate. There is no cure; injections of clotting factor is the only known treatment. Sickle cell anemia is another disorder where the body produces abnormally shaped red blood cells. Like hemophilia there is no cure; various methods of managing the disorder exist, though.
Three cancers also affect the blood: lymphoma, leukemia and myeloma. These cancers develop due to the rapid proliferation of cells that comprise the blood. Though these cancers affect the blood, each has its own set of symptoms and treatment options. A similarity between them, though, is that their presence suppresses the immune system and survivability largely depends on the cancer's stage at the time of diagnosis.
Hematology clinics treat and research these disorders and cancers that affect the blood. In a major hospital, a hematology clinic is usually an annex or comprises a suite of offices. Most patients who go to these clinics have primary care physicians who work in the same hospital. No matter the location of hematology clinics, they will generally receive patients from physicians in the nearby geographical area.
Once a patient is referred to a hematology clinic by his or her primary care physician, specialists will run a battery of tests to determine the exact nature of the disorder. These tests will be necessary even if a patient has a diagnosis before coming into the clinic. After these tests, a patient will speak with a specialist(s) about the disorder, its progression and possible treatment options.
Treatment for blood disorders and cancers of the blood also takes place in hematology clinics. These treatments include chemotherapy, radiation treatment, stem cell treatment and injections of clotting factor. Surgery to remove a lymphoma, for example, may have to occur in a nearby or adjoining hospital.
One of the advantages of hematology clinics is that by having specialists work together their collaboration can produce positive effects for patients. Having multiple specialists working on a single case can improve a patient's chances for survival. Also, a physician can review the effectiveness of certain treatments on past patients in similar circumstances. Having easy access to this data can reveal a more appropriate treatment option.
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