What are Non-Cancerous or Non-Malignant Blood Disorders?
Non-cancerous blood disorders in children occur when a component of the blood does not function properly. While these disorders are not cancerous, they can impact a child’s quality of life and, in some cases, be life-threatening.
Non-cancerous pediatric blood disorders can affect red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, or proteins in the bloodstream. Red blood cell disorders occur when red blood cells aren’t working the way they’re supposed to, which can cause fatigue or weakness.
Non-cancerous blood disorders in children often require ongoing care from multiple specialists to manage the condition and potential complications. Certain childhood blood disorders can be inherited; genetic testing can help determine if you or a family member has inherited a gene mutation that causes such disorders so that treatment can begin promptly.
Conditions We Treat
Our pediatric hematologists (blood disorder specialists) care for infants, children, adolescents, and young adults with inherited and acquired blood disorders such as:
- Anemias from any cause
- Bleeding disorders such as hemophilia and von Willebrand disease, as well as other rare coagulation factor deficiencies
- Bone marrow failure
- Iron overload and hemochromatosis
- Iron deficiency and other anemias
- Lymphoproliferative disorders (such as Epstein-Barr virus-associated T-cell disorders), including histiocytic disorders such as hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and Langerhans cell histiocytosis
- Platelet disorders – of number or function
- Sickle cell disease
- Thalassemia and other red cell disorders
- Thrombosis and blood clotting disorders
- Von Willebrand disease
- Bone marrow failure
- Lymphoproliferative disorders
- Platelet disorders
Inherited non-malignant blood disorders in children are present at birth, while others can be acquired during a person’s lifetime, sometimes due to certain medical conditions or medications.
Our Approach to Genetic Blood Disorder Care
At NewYork-Presbyterian, your child receives care from a team that includes pediatric hematologists, doctors, nurses, geneticist counselors, social workers, child life specialists, and others with the experience and compassion to care for children with blood diseases. Your child’s care team helps them transition from pediatric to adult care when that time comes.
Our teams also conduct laboratory and clinical research to advance the field. Your child may have the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial for an innovative treatment.
Treatments We Offer
We perform blood testing and, when needed, bone marrow analysis to identify the disorder causing your child’s symptoms. We use the results of testing to determine the best course of treatment.
We understand that many non-malignant blood disorders are lifetime conditions. Your care team designs a long-term program of comprehensive care that takes your child’s overall wellness into account. Our treatments include:
- Medications - Some blood disorders can be treated with medicine, given either orally (by mouth), through a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection, or intravenously (by vein). Your child’s doctor will inform you if medication is part of the treatment plan and explain how to use it.
- Infusion/transfusion therapies - Treatments such as infusions of blood or blood-derived products, as well as coagulation (blood clotting) factors or blood thinners, are treatments for some disorders. We give these treatments in our comfortable pediatric outpatient infusion centers.
- Stem cell/bone marrow transplant - Some blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease, can be cured when healthy stem cells from a matched sibling replace the diseased cells in a patient. NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital has one of the oldest stem cell and bone marrow transplantation programs in the nation. Some patients can have a novel “reduced-intensity” approach to stem cell transplantation, where we give low-dose chemotherapy plus immune therapy to allow the donor’s cells to grow while minimizing side effects.
Trust NewYork-Presbyterian’s Team of Pediatric Hematologists and Specialists
NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital is home to the New York Comprehensive Thalassemia Center —one of the largest thalassemia programs in the country. We also provide top-notch care at our federally-designated Hemophilia Treatment Center, the Pediatric Platelet Disorders Program, and the Pediatric Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Program, which focuses on treating specific bone marrow disorders.
NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital has a large Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease Program, a dedicated program for histiocytic disorders, and programs to treat children with all types of other blood disorders.
Both hospitals are designated as Hemoglobinopathy Specialty Centers by the New York State Department of Health. Schedule an appointment with a NewYork-Presbyterian blood disorder specialist to begin a personalized care plan today.