September is National Blood Cancer Awareness Month. At Nashville Oncology, we’re committed to drawing awareness about cancer and the research and innovation helping to treat patients today.
Hematology Is an Essential Science
A hematologist studies blood and blood disorders, including blood cancers. While hematology research doesn’t focus exclusively on cancer, it does increase our understanding of how blood works. That, in turn, allows researchers and scientists to uncover new and more effective ways to treat blood cancers like myeloma.
As the American Society of Hematology reports, advances in cancer treatment brought on by hematology research have turned several types of blood cancer, including chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), from having high fatality rates to being treatable diseases.
Blood Cancer Research
The three research priorities for blood cancer are improving awareness, increasing our ability to prevent cancers, and ensuring equitable access to healthcare.
Cancer prevention research has taken great strides in the last couple of decades, with new techniques and technologies allowing scientists to gain more insight into how and why cancer cells form in the blood and other parts of the body. However, research and innovation in the fight against blood cancer aren’t always technological. One crucial area is increasing patient understanding to improve the treatment experience.
For example, an in-depth study from February of 2022 found that physicians could appropriately reassure patients about the long-term course of a chronic blood cancer diagnosis but weren’t well-equipped to deal with the psychological effects patients suffered.
Patient Involvement in Cancer Prevention Research
One of the primary avenues of oncology research is clinical studies. In these studies, researchers work with patient volunteers to examine the effectiveness of cancer drugs, treatments, and outcomes in the real world.
Typically, these studies take one of the two following forms:
- Clinical trials: Researchers apply specific interventions to patients and determine their effects
- Observational studies: Researchers observe groups of patients to assess health outcomes
The role of patient-reported outcomes in clinical trials makes them an essential tool in oncology research, allowing cancer researchers to pinpoint the effects of specific treatments and interventions.
Blood Cancer FAQs
Is hematology a blood cancer?
Hematology is the science of researching blood, and a person who studies hematology is called a hematologist. While hematology is not a blood cancer, hematologists are involved with blood cancer research and patient treatment. They also help to raise blood cancer awareness by sharing their findings.
What are the four types of blood cancer?
Blood cancers typically fall into three groups: Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma. However, more than four types of blood cancers exist outside these groupings. Some people describe monoclonal gammopathy (MGUS) as the fourth type of blood cancer, but it’s not cancer.
How can I help blood cancer awareness?
One of the best ways to improve awareness about blood cancer is to donate to a nonprofit foundation. These organizations fund research and outreach, making your donations critical in the fight against cancer. Many organizations, like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, offer matching gifts during blood cancer awareness month.
What are the warning signs of blood cancer?
The warning signs of blood cancer include bone pain, flu-like symptoms, anemia, unexplained weight loss, and swollen lymph nodes. However, these often have other causes. If you’re concerned about blood cancer, ask your doctor for lab tests that can help detect it, such as imaging, blood tests, or bone marrow tests.
Improving Cancer Treatment for Patients and Their Families
Although innovation plays an essential role in the future of cancer detection and diagnosis, it’s important not to lose sight of the human element.
At Nashville Oncology, we’re committed to value-based cancer treatment that puts the patient first. Our researchers and physicians are dedicated to improving the patient experience and providing high-quality care by investing in innovative clinical techniques.
Our research team at Verdi Oncology Research and other centers mix cutting-edge technologies like AI-assisted diagnosis with building trust and a patient-centered philosophy. Contact us to learn more about how joining our network can help you improve patient outcomes in the fight against cancer.