You are here:

Oncology (General Cancer)/slightly elevated white blood count


I was seen by my primary care physician for a sick visit,  I gave blood. received a call to come back in 2 weeks to have blood test done again. I felt better never and did not return. 2 months later I began having severe joint pain returned to my primary physician she advised me to go down to the lab send have blood work completed due to last lab results she needed to look at blood work again. I received a call 2 days later I needed to see a blood specialist. I did not question why nor did I have any idea what a blood specialist was. Ended up in Oncology department who advised blood work was abnormal show high platelet and WC was elevated. we re-ran blood test again. Dr. had my medical record sent to her for review. She found out abnormal blood goes back as far as 2004 no one looked deeper into why counts were elevated. Oncologist then advised blood still showing elevated and they needed to do a Bone Marrow biopsy to test fluid and bone. It came back not to show anything conclusive. I then had a CT scan. CT scan showed no abnormalities either. Dr says she suspects may be Leukemia but can not confirm or rule out. why can't they tell me what is going on. I have several symptoms, tired fatigue, headaches, joint pain night sweats every night. when I get a cold I have it for over a month with wheezing coughing chest and back pain. Dr says wants to wait 2 more months to re-do blood test. I am scared if I have been this way since 2004 I really don't want to wait 2 more months for the same result. the WB is not going down just stays high. This has been going on now seeing this DR since Sept. I recently asked to be seen by a different Doctor. To see if he can tell me what is wrong. Why wouldn't the 1st Doctor be able to tell what is going on ? She is an Oncologist she should know what is wrong.

If you have a high white blood cell count and platelet count and all those symptoms, you may need to see a rheumatologist because this is all compatible with a disorder of bone/joint tissue.  (We used to call them "collagen vascular diseases).  If your white count was elevated since 2004 you probably don't have a primary disease of the bone marrow, like leukemia or myelodysplasia, and if the bone marrow exam was not revealing, it adds to my impression that you don't have leukemia.  Other kinds of malignancies incljuding hodgkin's disease and other lymphomas do come to mind, however.  I'm not sure an oncologist is your best choice, unless she is also an hematologist.  But my strong suspicion is that you have a secondary process going on which is due to something else, which may very well be non-malignant.  I hope you find someone who can help you; I generally advise patients to find another doctor if they feel they aren't being listened to.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Awards and Honors
America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

©2016 All rights reserved.