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why was a hematology oncologist recommended

Posts: 32
Joined: Dec 2009

My sister had surgery in August of 2009 for stage 1 colorectal cancer. The surgeon told us that the tumor was contained and that she got it all. Although this confused me a little (I was surprised at the total confidence having been through breast cancer surgery myself) it was welcome news. A month ago she went in for a follow up blood test and found out that she had elevated CEA levels. Unfortunately, they were unable to compare her results to the CEA levels prior to surgery because this test wasn't done. At any rate, because she smokes and that can elevate the levels, they did another CEA test and found that the levels had increased again.
Now she is scheduled for a PET-CT scan. This was set up for her by a doctor recommended to her by her surgeon. Upon researching we see that this doctor is a hematology oncologist who practices at a center where they specialize in the treatment of malignancies and diseases of the blood.
She is going to research this further, but in the meanwhile, I thought I'd ask if anyone else has gone this route (with this type of specialist). Aside from surgeons, the only reference I see to specialists on this blog is to gastroenterologists.

thanks, everyone!

tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5065
Joined: Feb 2008

I really don't have the answer for you, but I'm very interested to hear what she finds out. I, too, was diagnosed with Stage 1 colon cancer. So far so good!


Shayenne's picture
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

Is a Hematology onc, who I was sent too, highly recommended to me, and did mention I was seeing her, because I was highly anemic. Is your sister anemic at all? they have to watch the blood more as well when treating people who are anemic, since it may vary to people who aren't anemic, that's the only thing I could think of. Hema is a medical term for blood.


Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

I'm also highly anemic. The reason I was referred to a hemotologist oncologist by my surgeon wasn't anemia though -- this doctor was overseeing a clinical trial for the medical center and my surgeon recommended I go to him to enroll in the clinical trial.


Kathryn_in_MN's picture
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sep 2009

A lot of practices are hematology and oncology together. Mine is. Quite common.

snommintj's picture
Posts: 602
Joined: Mar 2009

The hematologist/oncologist is going to be able to track down the root of her problem. Elevated CEAs aren't necessarily a bad sign but they can be. If something does show up, the h/o will be the one directing the battle. He or she will coordinate the chemos and the surgeries and evaluate her health along the way.

geotina's picture
Posts: 2123
Joined: Oct 2009

George's onc's sign also says, hematology/oncology like many others. To be honest, I never questioned it or thought about it. He is highly recommended and has done wonderful by us. I would not worry about it, long as the doctor is good, highly recommended, etc. and has a good connection with sister I would not give it another thought. Do you know what her CEA level is/was? Tina

Posts: 75
Joined: May 2008

My oncologist was both as well, board certified in internam medicine as well.

Did your sister ever have a PET or a ct before? I am suprised if she did not. That is the only way to tell if the cancer may have traveled to another organ.

I am someone who is/was stage 1, and I visited an oncologist at the recommendation of my surgeon as well. We determined that I needed to do chemotherapy because of the type of tumor that I had. Before my surgery I had a PET/CT to determine if my cancer had spread.

She is headed to the right people it sounds like. I just wouldn't worry about it either. It would be a good idea for her to take someone with her, or even record the meeting. I find the first meetings there is alot of info shared, and it is helpful to have someone else to help remember what is shared.

Good luck to you both.

dianetavegia's picture
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

My oncologist specialized in hematology but is board certified in both. I love him. He's part of a big group out of Atlanta and patients are put before their group as a whole for decisions on treatment. That means 14 doctors helped decide what was best for me. I'm sure your sister will be in good hands.

KATE58's picture
Posts: 300
Joined: Nov 2009

Hemotology and oncology seem to go together.
my doctors are "hem/onc" docs!
I guess because chemo can really mess up your blood counts
and bone marrow,they need to be experts in both fields.
my doctor was head of internal medicine for nine yrs at lankenau hospital
before she changed specialties to "hem/onc"
so I feel I have the best of all worlds in her.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

You will find that this is very common to have more than one area they specialize in. Hope all will work out with you sister. Keep us informed.


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