Advanced care for blood cancer and blood disorders
When you choose Ascension Saint Thomas Cancer Care and our oncology and blood cancer services in Nashville, Tennessee you get a team of experienced cancer doctors working with you. Our care teams share best practices and the latest in blood cancer and blood disorder treatments and leukemia research – bringing the best of cancer care to you. Every appointment with your hematologist and medical oncology team starts with a compassionate conversation. Your doctor answers your questions and gets to know you. So, you get a personalized cancer 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.
Comprehensive care for blood cancer and blood disorders
Cancer doctors at Ascension Saint Thomas Midtown Cancer Center specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of blood cancers and blood disorders. Your care plan includes a multidisciplinary approach to your care, including face-to-face visits with specialists and others on your care team including:
- Medical oncologist sub-specialist in leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma
- Chemotherapy-certified nurse
- Oncology-certified dietitian
- Radiation oncologist
Your doctor and care team explain your diagnosis and help you understand how your care plan is personalized for your condition. 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 – estimated 1 in 3 cases can develop into 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)
Our medical oncologist-hematologists also specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of noncancerous blood disorders:
- Anemia and abnormal white blood and platelet counts
- Blood clot conditions, such as hemophilia
- Myelodysplastic syndrome, a pre-leukemia condition
- Myeloproliferative disorders, a disease of the bone marrow and blood
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.
Advanced diagnostic testing and innovative treatments
At Ascension Saint Thomas, you will find the latest diagnostic testing and treatment options for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Your care team works together to deliver blood tests and high-tech imaging to diagnose your cancer and to create a treatment plan. Then, on an ongoing basis, we 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. Our experienced specialists offer advanced treatment options for later-stage blood cancer in adults.
Care for teens and adults with blood disorders, close to home
Hematologists are specialists who diagnose and treat blood disorders. When you choose our care team at Ascension Saint Thomas, we provide 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)
Benefits of our approach to blood cancer and blood disorder care
Cancer specialists who know you and your condition review your treatment and progress. They work together to customize your overall care plan to support your physical well-being and mental and emotional health. Ascension Saint Thomas Cancer Care offers comprehensive cancer care, including:
- Medical oncology – Medical oncologists deliver advanced care (chemotherapy and targeted immunotherapy) to help stop cancer spread.
- Radiation oncology – Advanced radiation therapy is used to target and destroy cancer cells while avoiding the surrounding healthy tissue.
- Surgical oncology – Surgeons are part of your cancer care team and available for consultation, if needed.
- Infusion centers – Our experienced specialists and care team deliver medications and fluids, and focus on your dietary and social-emotional needs.
- Clinical trials – If you want to learn more about other possible cancer care options, talk to your doctor. You may want to ask whether cancer clinical trials are the right option for you.
- Genetics – If you are high-risk or have a family history of cancer, we deliver genetic screening, testing and counseling to help you and your doctor better understand your risk for developing cancer.
- Support programs and resources – Your cancer care team provides support from nutrition education and counseling to cancer support groups and spiritual care. And, at Ascension Saint Thomas sites of care, our healing gardens and chapels are always open to patients and your loved ones. We offer supportive care and activities for the whole you.
Care teams help navigate care and support services
Along the way, your care may require imaging, lab tests, pharmacy support, nutrition counseling, or other specialists. You do not have to navigate your care alone. Your care team at Ascension Saint Thomas will help you schedule appointments, connect with other services and support groups, and answer your questions. From your first consultation and throughout your ongoing care, you and your doctor will stay connected through in-person and virtual visits from the comfort of your home. With an Ascension Saint Thomas care plan, you'll be able to talk with your doctor one on one via video from your phone or computer and get the care that's right for you.
First, you will meet with an oncologist and care team to discuss your diagnosis and care options. Your specialist will answer your questions, paying attention to your physical and emotional needs and those of your caregivers. During your ongoing care, your entire Ascension Saint Thomas care team stays connected to discuss your treatment and progress. And as your care needs change, we’re ready to support you. When you come into the clinic for your appointments, know that we’re maintaining strict precautions to keep you safe in our care.
Get a second opinion on your blood cancer diagnosis or 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 Saint Thomas Blood Cancer Program. We can review your medical records and healthcare history to answer your questions and discuss options. Talk with our doctor 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 cancer doctor can provide a second opinion, based on our experience and as part of an integrated national team of doctors.
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.