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Ask an Oncology Expert with Dr. Zhuoyan Li

August 12, 2021
Dr. Zhuoyan Li specializes in benign and malignant hematology and is proud to offer treatment and solutions for people suffering from difficult-to-diagnose blood cancers and disorders. She understands how frustrating it can be for people dealing with blood clots, iron deficiency, bleeding problems, severe fatigue, night sweats, and more to get concrete answers. 

Alongside colleagues in the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute, Dr. Li ensures each patient is surrounded by a team of experts who all support that patient's treatment choices and wellness goals. Blood cancers and benign blood disorders are her top priority and Dr. Li has dedicated her career and practice to caring for these patients as well as maximizing the latest hematologic therapies and trials. 

On August 11, Dr. Li answered questions and addressed concerns related to diagnosing and treating blood cancers and disorders. 

Three Takeaways

  1. Hematology refers to the study of blood, including both benign and malignant disorders. Benign disorders include: bleeding and clotting disorders, hemoglobin abnormalities, blood clots, anemia, and more. Malignant disorders are cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

  2. Of the malignant disorders, lymphoma is more common and involves abnormalities that mature into other organs like lymph nodes and the spleen. Understanding the type of lymphoma a patient has (Hodgkin v. Non-Hodgkin) is important as it can effect treatment options. The most common types of Hodgkin occur in younger, adolescent patients while Non-Hodgkin is commonly seen in patients ages 60-70. Both types of lymphoma are treatable.

  3. Leukemia, a less common malignant blood disorder, evolves from abnormal white blood cell production in the bone marrow. Depending on the severity of leukemia (chronic versus acute), there are different treatment options available.

  4. The symptoms of blood disorders and cancers are individualized but can include new onset fatigue, sudden weight loss, mild fever, or enlarged lymph nodes on the neck, groin, and arm pit area. Dr. Li encourages everyone to have a regular physical and bloodwork done as some of these disorders may present without symptoms. If patients are not comfortable coming to the hospital, GBMC and the team in the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute offer telemedicine visits when applicable.

  5. Dr. Li has been impressed with the amount of support she has received in her first year at GBMC from not only her colleagues, but from the community. Programs like Oncology Services in the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute provide support for patients in need such as counseling, transportation, medication assistance and more.

    To support Dr. Li and oncology patients, please consider making a contribution to the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute.
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