Blood Disease Care
Our blood disease experts are experienced in treating people with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndrome, myeloproliferative disorders and rare blood cancers. We offer advanced pathology, targeted therapies and novel treatments through clinical trials.
Blood Cancer Expertise & Advanced Treatments
People with blood and bone marrow disorders have access to experts to get the most accurate diagnosis and start treatment in a timely manner at Wellstar. We treat:
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Hodgkin lymphoma
- Leukemia, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), chronic myelocytic leukemia (CML), hairy cell leukemia and others
- Multiple myeloma
- Myeloproliferative disorders (essential thrombocytosis, polycythemia vera, myelofibrosis)
- Myelodysplastic syndrome
- Rare blood cancers
Hematologic oncologists at Wellstar are compassionate physicians with advanced training in both blood conditions and cancer. They collaborate closely with Wellstar radiologists and hematopathologists—specially trained physicians in diagnosing conditions of the blood cell. Together, these specialized blood cancer doctors stage cancer and create the best treatment plan for you.
Our patients have access to a variety of advanced testing, personal medicine and novel therapies, including:
- Next-generation DNA sequencing, a revolutionary type of molecular testing
- Targeted therapies, including monoclonal antibody-drug conjugates and immunotherapy
- Clinical trials for a variety of blood cancers
- State-of-the-art imaging, including digital Positron Emission Tomography—Computed Tomography (PET/CT)
Our experts have experts
With Wellstar’s membership in the Mayo Clinic Care Network, our hematologic cancer specialists can request eConsults — virtual second opinions — from Mayo Clinic specialists at no additional cost to patients. The Mayo Clinic treats more than 30,000 people with blood diseases every year.
Nationally recognized care
Wellstar is accredited by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Commission on Cancer (CoC) program and is the recipient of the COC’s Outstanding Achievement Award, the highest honor given to a cancer program in the United States.
Diagnosis for Blood Diseases
Blood disease specialists at Wellstar use advanced diagnostic tools to help patients get the most accurate diagnosis and start treatment quickly for blood cancers and other disorders.
Symptoms of blood cancer
We most commonly begin the diagnosis process for patients after they feel an enlarged lymph node. Symptoms for blood disorders vary by condition, but can include:
- Swollen lymph nodes (most common)
- Bone & joint pain
- Weight loss
- Anemia (low healthy red blood cell count)
Advanced molecular testing
Diagnosis is primarily based on what our dedicated blood disorder pathologists learn from studying samples of a patient’s blood, body fluid or tissue. Our hematopathologists use advanced diagnostic techniques, including the use of next-generation DNA sequencing.
The resulting data helps our physicians create the most personalized treatment plan for each person, which may include highly effective targeted therapies.
In some cases, advanced imaging is used to help stage blood disorders, which guides decision-making around the best therapies for a person. Patients may have a computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a positron emission tomography (PET) scan.
The latest PET scan technology has improved the detection of cancer, enabling our radiology teams to determine how advanced the cancer is. Wellstar Kennestone Hospital was one of the first hospitals in the country to install a state-of-the-art digital Positron Emission Tomography—Computed Tomography (PET/CT).
Treatment for Blood DiseaseOur specialists are experts in advanced treatments and personalized medicine to help people with blood diseases.
The therapy that is recommended depends on a number of factors learned from the staging process. Each personalized plan includes the latest evidence-based treatments so people have the best outcomes. Treatments that may be recommended to people with a blood disease can include:
- Targeted therapies and biologic drugs: Some of the latest cancer treatments are biologic therapies and other targeted therapies. Targeted therapies are aimed at specific genetic abnormalities or proteins in the cancer’s DNA, which are found with biomarker testing. These play an important role in personalized medicine.
- Monoclonal antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs): This type of targeted therapy combines anti-cancer drugs with antibodies that navigate and bind to select antigens in the immune system. The antibody delivers a cancer-killing agent directly to targeted cells inside the cancer. ADCs are often paired with chemotherapy.
- Immunotherapy: For specific types of cancer like Hodgkin lymphoma, this biological therapy can be highly effective. Immunotherapy boosts a patient’s own immune system to fight and slow down the cancer’s growth.
- Clinical trials: Patients with blood cancer have access to clinical trials through the Wellstar Research Institute and Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers, who work with select local and national partners. We have a strong track record of participating in promising oncology clinical trials, many of which have resulted in FDA approval.
- Chemotherapy: This systemic treatment affects the cancer cell DNA and its ability to divide and grow. Chemotherapy is given to people with various types of blood cancers, sometimes in combination with other treatments to improve effectiveness and reduce recurrence.
- Radiation therapy: In rare cases, patients with blood cancers may benefit from external beam radiation therapy (EBRT). This radiation therapy aims high-energy X-ray beams at a specific part of the body to target cancerous or benign tumors and destroy the genetic material that allows tumor cells to grow and divide.
Support ServicesPeople with cancer have access to an incredible network of support at Wellstar. While you navigate your diagnosis and treatment, our support groups, one-on-one support and education can improve your quality of life in many ways. The goal of our comprehensive support program is for patients to heal medically, physically and emotionally during treatment and beyond.
Patients may find it beneficial to work with:
- Registered oncology dietitians, who help people maximize their nutrition and well-being
- Oncology social workers, who help people undergoing treatment improve their quality of life with counseling, education and connection to resources
- Oncology psychologists and psychiatrists, who work with people to manage the emotional side of cancer
- Physical therapists, speech therapists, and occupational therapists, who provide rehabilitation services
- Palliative care specialists, who offer complex symptom management
- Genetic counselors, who help patients with rare syndromes linked to cancer to understand their disease, make informed decisions about treatment and lifestyle choices, and discuss how results may affect their family members
No matter which type of support you need, we’re here to help you and your loved ones face cancer with confidence.
Learn more about our support services for people with cancer.