Clinical Haematology – Blood Doctor in the House (Part 2)

What kind of Blood Cancers do Haematologists treat?

Haematologists also function as Haemato-oncologists, treating blood cancers.  The most common blood cancers are:

  • Leukaemia (Acute and Chronic)
  • Lymphoma (Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin)
  • Multiple Myeloma

The less commonly known blood cancers are Myeloproliferative Neoplasm and Myelodysplastic Syndromes.

How Are Blood Cancers Diagnosed and Staged?

Blood cancers are diagnosed and staged by performing

  • Full blood picture
  • Lymph node biopsy (for Lymphoma)
  • Bone Marrow Aspiration and Trephine Biopsy (For Leukaemia)
  • CT, PET scan and MRI
    Cytogenetic and Molecular studies
How Are Blood Cancers Treated?

The outcome of treatment and overall survival of patients have improved tremendously over the decades.  Although patients with blood cancers are generally treated with chemotherapy, the approach has grown in leaps and bounds with the development of:

  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted Therapies. 

These state of the art treatment modalities have led to paradigm shifts in managing blood cancers.

Another established approach to treat blood cancers is Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT).

What is Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT)?
Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT), previously known as bone marrow transplant is the process of infusing a patient’s own (autologous) or donor’s (allogenic) blood stem cells.  Some types of blood cancers require bone marrow transplant to improve outcomes and prolong survival and remission.