Bleeding Disorder Treatment in NJ, CT, and MD

The body naturally produces blood clots when an injury occurs. These clots work to plug the wound and stop bleeding, creating a barrier so the body can begin to heal. Platelets are an element of blood that aid in the production of blood clots. People diagnosed with a bleeding disorder cannot make blood clots properly. This can be due to a lack of platelet production or problems with other blood factors and can lead to excessive bleeding.

The hematology specialists of Regional Cancer Care Associates provide care for patients with bleeding disorders at more than 20 locations across New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington, D.C. area. Using the latest advances in medical care, our physicians provide expert care in diagnosing and treating the full range of bleeding disorders.

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What Causes a Bleeding Disorder?

Blood contains many proteins that allow for healthy blood clot production. These proteins, or blood factors, are necessary to heal the body from cuts or injuries. Bleeding disorders occur when a patient lacks or has abnormal blood factors. Patients often inherit this condition from one or both parents. However, bleeding disorders also can occur if a patient has other health problems, such as:

  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Anemia
  • Leukemia
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • HIV

Bleeding Disorder Symptoms

Depending on the type of bleeding disorder and its severity, some patients may not experience any symptoms. However, those with more severe cases may have symptoms such as:

  • Frequent nosebleeds, particularly those that are hard to stop
  • Easy bruising
  • Bleeding gums
  • Heavy bleeding from small cuts
  • Heavy bleeding from dentist visits
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Bleeding into joints
  • Excessive post-surgical bleeding

Common Bleeding Disorders

While people can develop a bleeding disorder due to medical conditions, many cases are inherited. Two of the main bleeding disorders are:

Von Willebrand Disease

Von Willebrand disease is a fairly common, inherited disorder that causes blood to lack essential blood clotting proteins, specifically the von Willebrand factor. Cases are classified as Type 1, 2, or 3 depending on their severity. Type 1 covers mild cases, while Type 3 signifies severe cases. Some individuals may experience symptoms throughout their lives. However, there are rare cases where patients won’t have symptoms until later in life. Patients can manage symptoms through medications and other treatment methods. However, there is no cure for this condition.

Hemophilia

Hemophilia is a rare, inherited disorder that prevents the blood from properly clotting. Cases of hemophilia are typically categorized depending on which proteins are missing from the blood. For example:

  • If the patient is missing factor VIII (eight), this is Type A.
  • If the patient is missing factor IX (nine), then this is Type B.
  • If the patient is missing factor XI (11), then this is Type C.

Hemophilia can vary from mild to severe. Because it is mainly an inherited disorder, those with the condition can pass it down to their children.

Diagnosing a Bleeding Disorder

To diagnose a bleeding disorder, physicians first ask about the person’s personal and family medical history. Because many bleeding disorders are inherited, family history is an important part of the evaluation.  Next, physicians conduct a physical evaluation. They then may order one or more blood tests, including:

  • Prothrombin time (PT)
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Platelet aggregation test
  • Partial thromboplastin time (PTT)

Comprehensive Hematology Care at Regional Cancer Care Associates

If a person with a bleeding disorder has mild symptoms or no symptoms, he or she may not need treatment. However, if symptoms emerge or become worse, the hematology physicians of Regional Cancer Care Associates can treat the condition with approaches including:  

  • Medications to make up for lost or missing proteins
  • Blood transfusion
  • Certain forms of chemotherapy (even though bleeding disorders are not cancer)

Serving patients across New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington D.C. area, Regional Cancer Care Associates can assist those with both cancers of the blood and blood-forming tissues and non-cancerous blood conditions, such as bleeding disorders. To learn more about treatment options, contact us today.

ADDITIONAL LINKS

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Schedule an Appointment at Regional Cancer Care Associates

If you need near-term or ongoing care for anemia or another benign blood disorder, schedule an appointment at Regional Cancer Care Associates. Patients have access to a full range of services across New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington, DC area, making it easy to find a location convenient for you. Contact us today to learn more about our benign hematology services.

 

Regional Cancer Care Associates is one of fewer than 200 medical practices in the country selected to participate in the Oncology Care Model (OCM); a recent Medicare initiative aimed at improving care coordination and access to and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries undergoing chemotherapy treatment.