reAlso known as non-cancerous blood disorders treatments, benign hematologic treatments are therapies used to treat these disorders. The required treatments are planned out according to a number of factors including:
- Diagnosis on the type of disorder
- The severity of the condition
- The patient’s overall health and wellbeing
- The treatment option preferred by the patient
What Are Benign Hematologic Disorders?
In general, blood disorders are conditions which affect the various components of the blood. These include the red blood cells, white blood cells, the plasma and the platelets. All these four components of the blood have different functions:
- White blood cells aid in fighting infection
- Red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body
- Platelets aid in blood clotting
- Plasma circulates the blood cells to the tissues of the body
Benign hematologic disorders are the blood conditions which are either treatable/curable, do not affect the lifespan of the patient or are chronic and can be managed with affecting the lifespan of the patient.
Some of the common benign hematologic conditions include:
This condition occurs when the blood red cell count is quite low. There are different types of anemia, including:
- Sickle Cell Anemia: Known also as sickle cell disease (SCD), this is a genetic blood disorder in which the blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells. The available red cells are also shaped like crescent moons or sickles.
- Iron Deficiency Anemia: In this condition, the blood usually doesn’t have enough healthy blood cells, or iron (the mineral) which is used to make hemoglobin.
- Chronic Disease Anemia: This type of anemia occurs in people who have chronic illnesses like kidney disease.
- Aplastic Anemia: This occurs as a result of the inability of the bone marrow to produce sufficient red blood cells.
- Pernicious Anemia: This is caused by an autoimmune disorder, whereby the body is unable to absorb Vitamin B12.
As one of the rare blood disorders, this condition occurs when the blood is unable to clot properly due to low levels of clotting factors (proteins).
This is a genetic blood disorder that occurs as a result of the blood not having enough hemoglobin.
This is a condition that occurs when the blood is unable to clot. This happens as a result of inability to create enough proteins which stop bleeding.
Von Willebrand Disease (VWD)
This is a common genetic disorder whereby the blood is unable to clot properly.
Symptoms of Benign Hematologic Disorders
Common symptoms of non-cancerous blood disorders include:
- Pale skin
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss
- Severe fatigue
- Cold hands and feet
- Irregular heartbeat
- Fever and chills
- Chest pain
- Night sweats
- Changes in your appetite
- Consistent infectious illnesses
- Feelings of ill health
Diagnosis of Benign Hematologic Disorders
The only way to make a definitive diagnosis of any blood disorder is through a blood test known as CBC (Complete Blood Count). The test is used to determine the complete count of the white and red blood cells, and the plasma. Additionally, a sample of the bone marrow (bone marrow biopsy) may be taken for examination to determine why the blood cells may be unusual.
Other tests include:
- Blood cell count
- Blood screening
- Blood enzyme tests
Treatment of Benign Hematologic Disorders
Treatment of non-cancerous blood conditions is dependent on the type of blood disorder, the severity of the condition and the overall health condition of the patient. There are a number of treatment options and therapies, whose aim is to completely treat the condition or manage the symptoms especially in cases where there is no known cure for the disease.
Treatment options include:
This mode of treatment is usually recommended for patients who have severe anemia. However, if the anemia is as a result of an underlying condition like kidney disease or any form of infection, then the underlying disorder is treated first.
In benign blood disorders where there is an over-production of blood cells, then a phlebotomy procedure is recommended. This is a procedure that carefully removes units of blood from the patient in order to keep the blood cell count at normal levels, which reduces the risks of one having a heart attack, stroke or critical blood clotting.
Therapy for Coagulation Disorders
In instances where the patient is suffering from excess bleeding or clotting, like hemophilia whereby the blood is unable to clot due to a missing clotting factor, the mode of treatment is geared towards replacing the missing factor or increasing the levels of the clotting factors (proteins).
As for abnormal clotting of blood, for instance after a certain duration of immobility, anticoagulant therapy is recommended in order to reduce the risk of a thrombosis episode.
During infusion therapy treatment for benign blood disorders, an array of specialized drugs are delivered directly into the blood stream intravenously. This treatment option is used in hematologic conditions whereby platelets have been destroyed, or the immune system compromised.
Anemia that occurs as a result of nutritional deficiencies, then oral iron tablets and folic acid are prescribed, in addition to supplemental injections like vitamin B12.
At King’s College Hospital Dubai, we focus on offering an exemplary service. From initial consultation through to final diagnosis, treatment and beyond. Our multidisciplinary team of expert doctors and nurses, and technologists led by Dr Hassan Ghazal – an American triple board-certified Consultant Medical Oncologist and a Consultant Clinical Hematologist with more than 3 decades of clinical experience, are here to offer tailored management and treatment of your condition, and to answer any questions that you may have throughout your time with us. Whatever you need us for, we’re only a phone-call away.
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