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Oncology (General Cancer)/Questions about leukemia and elevated wbc


QUESTION: I had rountine blood work at my PCp. They called and said my white blood cell count was elevated. They decided to ask if I felt bad and I didnt. I'm tired all the time and just strange symptoms. They placed me on antiobiotics and then we rechecked it and it's even higher. Now they want to send me to am hemotagist/ oncologist. I have family history of cancer. Help super nervous. What happens on first visit and what should be asked.

ANSWER: How high is your white blood cell count and what does your differential white blood cell count look like? Without knowing that I would just be guessing. To be sure if there is a leukemia or not a bone marrow biopsy may be needed either from your crista illiaca (part of your pelvis/hip) or from your sternum (breast bone). That procedure is somewhat painful even with local anesthesia but otherwise quite harmless. Treatment results for leukemias have advanced a lot in recent years even though I can not offer guarantees. And we still do not yet know if there indeed is a leukemia or not! Good luck!

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---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for responding. The only thing I know so far is that my white blood cell count is to high (30000). Early this morning I started to feel bad. Now I'm super tired. I have to call PCp Monday. They didn't tell me if they checked to see how the cells looked or if their are immature cells or not. This is the second doctor that doesn't want me to work with animals anymore. I just really don't know what to expect when I go to specialist.
I did hear about that procedure hurting. What medication makes the pain ok? How long is procedure

Well that IS high and makes a further investigation necessary!  They should indeed check how the cells do look! That is basic! Well if indeed this is a leukemia your immunological system may not be good and then there may be risks in animal care. Yes it is painful but that is temporary. It does not give you a lot of pain for a longer period. Your doctor can give you good enough pain killers. Good luck! Thanks!

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Oncology (General Cancer)

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Claes-Gustaf Nordquist, M.D.


Questions concerning Cancer, Oncology, radiation Therapy, Tumours, Chemotherapy, Cytotoxic Drugs, Hormonal Therapy, Radiation Protection.


I'm a Doctor of Medicine and specialist in Medical Oncology and Radiation Therapy educated & trained in Sweden. Now retired. Background in Radiation Therapy, Medical Oncology, Radiation Protection, Nuclear Medicine, Diagnostic Radiology, Gynecological Oncology, Clinical Pathology, Clinical Cytology,Hematology and Internal Medicine. M.D. from the faculty of medicine, Royal Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Have also been an exchange student at the Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem Israel. Former medical consultant, Swedish National Board of Radiation Protection. Former Police Surgeon and Medical Examiner, Stockholm Police Department. Former Chief Medical Officer, The Royal Guards, The Royal Horse Guards and the Royal Household Brigade, Royal Swedish Army Medical Corps. You can also reach me on: I have no restrictions in the number of questions there. I also answer questions in these other categories: General History, Military History, Brain Tumors, Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer

I'm a medical doctor and specialist in medical oncology and radiation therapy

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