Hematology is that medical specialty which concerns itself with
the blood, and the generation of blood in the bone marrow. Hematology
studies the red and white blood cells, their relative proportions and
general cell health, and the diseases that are caused by imbalances
between them, notably leukemia and anemia. Red blood cells carry oxygen
from the lungs to the various parts of the body, and white blood cells
fight infections. Both are necessary, but they have to be in the body in
the right proportions or systems will break down.
Anemia is a shortage of red blood cells, a condition which can be
caused by a number of different factors. Women of childbearing age are
more likely to be anemic than anyone else because they lose red blood
cells monthly through menstruation. Anemia caused by a lack of iron in
the diet is easily treated by iron supplements. Other types of anemia
with less easily remedied causes can be harder to treat and
life-threatening. Hematology diagnoses these conditions and prescribes
appropriate treatments for them.
Leukemia is a condition in which the bone marrow produces too
many white blood cells. These are typically abnormal white cells, and
their sheer numbers crowd out the red blood cells, causing anemia and
other dangerous symptoms. Hematology recognizes a number of different
types of leukemia, with different causes and treatment protocols.