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Blood Disorder (Hematology) Program

Blood disorders can make you feel run-down and fatigued. In some cases, they put you at risk for life-threatening complications. Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, helps you receive specialized hematology care close to home.

Our fellowship-trained blood disorder experts (hematologist oncologists) treat a broad range of conditions affecting adults and children. Many of our specialists, including specialized pediatric hematologists, focus solely on blood disorders. You can count on us for an expert diagnosis, timely care using leading therapies and support services when necessary.

Coming to the cancer center and seeing a hematologist oncologist for a blood disorder typically does not mean that you have cancer. A small number of blood disorders can become cancerous, however.

Hematologist oncologists have specialized expertise in how blood cells and bone marrow function. They specialize in evaluating and treating both blood-related issues and cancer. We explain how your diagnosis may affect your long-term health and the steps we’re taking to manage it.

Why choose us for blood disorder care?

  • Accurate diagnosis: We diagnose rare and complex problems with a high degree of accuracy. For some disorders, our hematologists examine blood samples under a high-resolution microscope. Doctors diagnose other disorders, including abnormally low platelet counts, primarily by thoroughly assessing you at the bedside. Our expertise helps us make the right diagnosis.
  • Services for children and families: We help families of pediatric patients navigate challenges that blood disorders can bring to everyday life. Our psychologist provides emotional support. Social workers connect families with helpful services to address practical needs, so they can focus on caring for their child.
  • Leading care: For some conditions, like hemophilia, we are the only nationally recognized program in the region. We deliver therapies that research has shown to be appropriate for children.
  • Research and clinical trials: Our active role in blood disorder research gives eligible patients access to the latest therapies, some of which are only available through clinical trials. We participate in top-ranked research networks, enabling us to tap the expertise of world-renowned specialists when necessary.

Find out more about:

Emergency access for life-threatening blood disorders

Our experts are available at all hours of the day and night for patients with urgent blood disorder symptoms. These conditions often occur in pregnant women and include complications of high blood pressure. We perform assessments, run advanced testing and may start you on treatment, all in the same visit.

Expert blood disorder care in South Texas

We care for a wide range of blood disorders, including:

Anemia

Anemia occurs when low levels of red blood cells make it difficult for your organs to get enough oxygen. Our expertise includes diagnosing and treating complex and severe anemias.

You may need a blood transfusion, which delivers blood from a healthy donor through a needle in your arm. You may also need medications to boost your red blood cells’ function.

Blood clots (thrombosis)

Thrombosis refers to blood clots that form in veins far away from the heart, such as in your legs (deep vein thrombosis). Our expertise includes treating clots in unusual sites, such as the bowel, liver or brain.

We also specialize in blood clots that could lead to stroke or heart attack in young people. Therapies may include blood thinners when appropriate.

Blood disorder emergencies in pregnant women

We care for potentially life-threatening blood disorders that may occur during pregnancy, including complications of high blood pressure.

Our team is available around the clock to assess troubling symptoms, find the cause of complications and make care recommendations. We work as a team with obstetricians to safely deliver the baby early, if necessary. Find out more about obstetrics and gynecology.

Additional bleeding disorders

Other bleeding disorders our experts treat include:

  • Low immunoglobulins (hypogammaglobulinemia): This condition occurs when there’s an abnormally low level of a certain blood protein, gamma globulin. This deficiency weakens the immune system, raising the risk of infection. We perform a thorough evaluation so you receive an accurate diagnosis and timely treatment.
  • Hemophilia: This condition affects the body’s ability to stop bleeding. We are the only nationally recognized hemophilia program in the region and have a long-standing history of care excellence. Learn more about hemophilia.
  • Platelet disorders: Platelets are a type of cell that helps blood to clot. Disorders may include abnormal platelet numbers or function. These problems can lead to too much or too little clotting. Restoring this balance requires expert evaluation and treatment.
  • White blood cell disorders: White blood cells protect the body against germs and disease. Disorders may include abnormal white blood cell levels or cells that do not work properly. We perform a thorough evaluation to determine the source of the problem.

Sickle cell disease

Our team of pediatric and adult specialists delivers comprehensive care to help control symptoms and make daily life more predictable. You receive nationally recognized sickle cell disease care, including access to newly approved medications. Learn more about sickle cell disease.

Thrombosis in pregnant women

Some women produce high levels of blood-clotting proteins during pregnancy. We help women at risk avoid complications, with care that may include blood-thinning medications. We are experienced in working with medications that are safe for a pregnant woman and her unborn child.