Blood disorders

Blood disorders overview

You are at the center of everything we do at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. Here, we surround you with a team of specialists who work together closely to provide expertly targeted, complete care and compassionate support throughout your treatment and beyond.

We guide you every step of the way, combining our deep clinical expertise in blood cancers and nonmalignant blood diseases (also called benign hematology) with a commitment to meet your unique needs.

Benign Not cancer. Benign tumors may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body. Benign Not cancer. Benign tumors may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body.

Why choose Fred Hutch?

  • Experts in blood disorders
    Fred Hutch patients receive state-of-the-art care from some of the world’s leading doctors. Many blood disorders are rare, and treating them can be difficult. Our hematologists and hematologist-oncologists have the expertise to diagnose and treat even the most complex or uncommon conditions. They are part of the UW Medicine Hematology team.
  • Comprehensive blood disorder treatment 
    Along with treating all types of blood-related cancer, like leukemia and lymphoma, our specialists care for many patients with nonmalignant blood diseases, such as aplastic anemia, inherited bone marrow failure syndromes, sickle cell disease and many others.
  • Blood disorder clinical trials
    To give you access to the most innovative treatments, we unite the leading researchers and cancer specialists of Fred Hutch and UW Medicine so you can take part in clinical trials for your disease that are not available everywhere.
  • Bone marrow transplant for blood disorders
    The Fred Hutch Bone Marrow Transplant Program consistently achieves higher-than-expected transplant survival rates. We pioneered bone marrow transplants and have performed more than any other institution in the world. For some blood disorders — including some nonmalignant diseases — a transplant provides the best hope for a cure.
  • A national leader in cancer care
    Fred Hutch is the leading cancer treatment center in the region and among the top nationally, according to U.S. News & World Report. We are one of the few cancer centers in the country with a Hematologic Malignancy Genetics Clinic.
  • NCI comprehensive cancer center
    We are a comprehensive cancer center, a designation from the National Cancer Institute that reflects our scientific leadership and the depth and breadth of our research to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Our doctors and scientists bring the same commitment to nonmalignant blood disorders.
Anemia A condition in which the number of red blood cells is below normal. Benign Not cancer. Benign tumors may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body. Bone marrow The soft, spongy material in the center of your bones that produces all your blood cells, such as white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. Bone marrow transplant The process of treating disease with high doses of chemotherapy, radiation therapy or both. Bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells are given after treatment to help the body make more blood cells. The process of treating disease with high doses of chemotherapy, radiation therapy or both. Because this treatment destroys the bone marrow’s ability to produce blood cells, bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells are given after treatment to help the body make more blood cells. Hematologist A physician who specializes in diseases of the blood and blood-forming tissues. Hematologist A physician who specializes in diseases of the blood and blood-forming tissues. Lymphoma Cancer that begins in the cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Cancer that begins in cells of the immune system. There are two basic categories of lymphomas. One is Hodgkin lymphoma, which is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell. The other category is non-Hodgkin lymphomas, which includes a large, diverse group of cancers of immune system cells. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can be further divided into cancers that have an indolent (slow-growing) course and those that have an aggressive (fast-growing) course. These subtypes behave and respond to treatment differently. Both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur in children and adults, and prognosis and treatment depend on the stage and the type of cancer. Nonmalignant Not cancer. Nonmalignant tumors may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body. Also called benign. Sickle cell disease An inherited disease in which the red blood cells have an abnormal crescent shape, block small blood vessels and do not last as long as normal red blood cells. An inherited disease in which the red blood cells have an abnormal crescent shape, block small blood vessels and do not last as long as normal red blood cells. Sickle cell disease is caused by a mutation (change) in one of the genes for hemoglobin, which is the substance inside red blood cells that binds to oxygen and carries it from the lungs to the tissues. It is most common in people of West and Central African descent. Also called sickle cell anemia.

Facts

Blood disorders, also called hematologic conditions, can be either malignant (cancerous) or nonmalignant (not cancerous). Nonmalignant diseases may be called “benign” hematologic disorders, although some can have serious effects on your body even without being cancer. 

Treatment

The physicians at Fred Hutch treat a wide range of blood disorders using the latest therapies with an eye to providing care to you as a whole person. We’ll clearly explain all your options, which treatment course we believe is best for you and why. 

Providers

At Fred Hutch, you receive care from a team of providers with extensive experience in your disease. Your team includes physicians, a patient care coordinator, a registered nurse, an advanced practice provider and others, based on your needs. You also have access to experts like nutritionists, social workers, acupuncturists, psychiatrists and more who specialize in supporting people with cancer or blood disorders.