Patient getting cancer care at an Ascension site of care.

Advanced care for blood cancer and blood disorders

Hematology-medical oncology doctors at Ascension sites of care deliver personalized care for blood cancer and blood disorders, focusing on you.

When you choose cancer centers and hematology-medical oncology clinics at Ascension sites of care, you get a care team that is part of a national network. Our experienced cancer doctors and hematologists share best practices and the latest in blood disease and blood cancer treatment and research – bringing the best of hematology and cancer care to you. Every appointment with your oncologist or hematology specialist starts with a compassionate conversation. Your doctor answers your questions and gets to know you. So, you get a personalized care plan. And with a plan, comes hope. We will help you navigate your care and will be by your side every step of the way, connecting the dots. Our goal is to help you get back to home, family, life and self sooner.

Multidisciplinary team approach to diagnosing and treating blood cancers 

At Ascension sites of care, your oncologists have the expertise to deliver a team approach when diagnosing and treating all types of blood cancer. And you’ll start by having a face-to-face visit with your medical oncologist-hematologist and others on your care team including:

  • Chemotherapy-certified nurse
  • Oncology-certified dietitian 
  • Medical oncology sub-specialist in leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma
  • Pharmacist
  • Radiation oncologist

Your doctor and care team explain your diagnosis in plain language and help you understand how your care plan is personalized for your type of blood cancer. The most common types of blood cancer in adults include:

  • Leukemia (a term for many types of blood and blood tissue cancers that stem from your body having problems making healthy blood cells)
  • Lymphoma (cancer cells that affect your body’s immune system and lymphatic system, for example, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma)
  • Multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow, which are a type of white blood cell, and the most common type is IgG)
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS, or pre-leukemia, a blood disorder caused by blood cells that don’t work properly. An estimated 1 in  3 cases can develop cancer of the bone marrow, called acute myeloid leukemia or AML) 
  • Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN, a chronic cancer of the bone marrow and blood that can transform into AML)

For children and teens, pediatric specialists in childhood cancers and blood disorders at select Ascension sites of care deliver compassionate, personalized cancer care that focuses on your child and family’s needs. 

Advanced diagnostic testing and innovative treatments for blood cancer

Across our national network, you will find the latest diagnostic testing and treatment options for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Your care team works together to deliver advanced blood tests and high-tech imaging to diagnose your cancer and then evaluate and monitor how your blood, lymph nodes and bone marrow respond to treatment. 

Several forms of radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be recommended as part of a care plan for blood cancer. At Ascension sites of care, our experienced specialists are knowledgeable about advanced treatment options for later-stage blood cancer in adults, including:  
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • CAR T cell therapy (a type of immunotherapy)
  • Gene mutation-directed chemo biotherapy
  • Stem cell transplant 

For children, dedicated children’s hospitals within the national network of Ascension sites of care offer a wide array of clinical research trials. You may want to ask whether cancer clinical trials are the right option for your care or for your child’s care. 

Infusion therapy customized for your care plan

If infusion therapy is recommended as part of your treatment plan for blood cancer or a blood disorder, you will receive intravenous (IV) therapy from a team of highly trained nurses and pharmacists. Chemotherapy and many other medications and fluids can be delivered by IV at our infusion centers, using a portable infusion pump, or at home by a home health care team (see Ascension at Home). And your compassionate care team pays attention to how you’re feeling and helps you manage symptoms between treatments. Before each therapy session, your oncologist checks your blood so the type and amount of medications can be tailored to your current condition and your overall care plan.

Team approach helps navigate care and support services

Along the way, your care may require lab tests, imaging, nutrition counseling, supportive palliative care, oncology rehabilitation and pharmacy support – you do not have to navigate your care alone. Your care team will help you schedule appointments, connect with other services, and answer your questions. And we pay attention to your needs and those of your caregivers, including emotional health.  From your first consultation and throughout your ongoing care, you and your doctor will stay connected through in-person and virtual visits. When you come into the clinic, hospital or cancer center for your appointments, know that we’re maintaining strict precautions to keep you safe in our care. 

Lab tests that check the health of your blood

Many types of lab tests are used to diagnose and monitor blood cancer and blood disorders. Your doctor may recommend lab testing, including:

  • Blood clotting tests 
  • Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy (testing)
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • CBC with white cell differential (measures anemia and your body’s ability to hold off infection)
  • Cytogenetic analysis (a study of the chromosomes that provide genetic information about a cell)
  • Lymph node biopsy (a test for lymphoma)
  • Molecular profiling (identification of cancer biomarkers associated with response or lack of response to certain cancer treatment)
  • Minimal residual disease (MRD) test (a cancer test that can identify the presence of even one cancer cell among one million normal cells)

Personalized care from blood specialists for noncancerous blood disorders

Hematologists are specialists who diagnose and treat blood disorders. When you choose Ascension sites of care, you’ll get experienced specialists and care teams, providing the latest tests and treatments for many types of bleeding and clotting disorders, including: 

  • Anemia (low levels of iron in the blood)
  • Hemophilia (inherited disorder that causes blood clotting problems)
  • Immune thrombocytopenia (a low platelet count disorder in which the blood doesn’t clot as it should)
  • Von Willebrand disease (inherited bleeding disorder that causes abnormal bleeding after an injury, surgery or during a woman’s period) 

Symptoms of blood disorders

Your hematologist and care team start by listening to understand your symptoms. For example, anemia, a common blood disorder, can make you feel tired. Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling. Your doctor will work with you to diagnose your condition and create a personalized care plan. Signs of a blood disorder can vary based on if your red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets are affected:

  • Red blood cell disorder – fast heartbeat, fatigue, hard to breathe, muscle weakness, and difficulty concentrating
  • White blood cell disorder – chronic infections, fatigue, malaise and weight loss
  • Platelet disorder – bleeding gums, easy bruising, hard-to-heal wounds and nosebleeds

Blood disorders and women’s health

At Ascension sites of care, women’s health specialists collaborate with hematologists to help diagnose and treat bleeding disorders in women. It’s estimated that 1 in 10 women with heavy menstrual periods may have a bleeding disorder, such as von Willebrand disease. If left untreated, bleeding disorders raise your risk for anemia and dangerous bleeding after childbirth. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about new symptoms. 

Doctors specialize in care for blood clots

Your doctor and care team at Ascension sites of care deliver personalized care that focuses on you. Blood clots are serious and can have many causes. Although blood clots can be related to blood disease and cancer, they can also be a side effect of medications (chemotherapy or hormone therapy), heart arrhythmias, catheter placement or surgery. If you have blood clot symptoms, talk to your hematologist - oncologist immediately. 

  • Signs of a blood clot in the arm or leg – swelling, pain and tenderness not caused by injury, or lasting longer than expected. Skin changes, including warmth to touch and redness or discoloration, can also be signs of blood clotting.
  • Symptoms of a possible blood clot in the lung – difficulty breathing, chest pain that worsens with deep breath or cough, coughing up blood, and irregular heartbeat

If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency go directly to the ER or call 911.

Get a second opinion on your blood disorder or cancer diagnosis and care plan

Get the confidence and peace of mind that your doctor and care plan are right for you. It's easy to get a second opinion at Ascension sites of care. We can review your medical records and healthcare history to answer your questions and discuss options. Talk with one of our doctors about a personalized care plan. 

When you are facing a new diagnosis or are deciding on a treatment plan, there’s a lot to think about. Our specialists can provide a second opinion, based on our experience and as part of an integrated national network of care.

Before your appointment, check with your insurance company to find out if a second opinion is covered. We can request your medical records on your behalf so that they can be shared with your care team before your arrival.

Financial assistance and support is available

We can connect you with resources and programs that may be able to help you and your family with options for financial assistance. Our financial counseling team is here to listen to your concerns and work with you to help find options that meet your needs.

Choose Ascension for treating blood cancers