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Galileo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 696
   Posted 12/13/2010 2:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Just had a complete blood count (CBC) done, mostly for cholesterol checking.

My WBC (white blood cell) count has been low for some time, but took another dip down over the past 6 months to 2.8 k/mm3, the lowest it has been ever. The normal range is 4.0 to 11.0 k/mm3.
At the same time, for the first time, one of my "phils" came in below range. My neutrophil count slipped to 1.5, and the normal range is 1.6 to 9.3.

I have not had any illnesses lately and feel fine. I doubt that I'm fighting something off constantly, causing the WBC to be down.

My primary care doctor is starting to be concerned. Before I hit this low, all the other counts were fine. I asked him what could cause my low WBC, and he said, "Well, you did have radiation." I pointed out that the radiation was now nearly 4 years in the past, and that no large bones were in the targeted area. He understood this counterpoint but we didn't discuss causes further than that.

He said that I wasn't apparently suffering from the low WBC, since I haven't had trouble with wounds healing, or illnesses that I couldn't shake. In other words, the white cells I do have seem to be taking care of me for the present.

But he said that if the WBC drifted down any further, he would be sending me to the hematologist/oncologist.

I'm getting worried.

Comments?
Galileo

Dx Feb 2006, PSA 9 @age 43
RRP Apr 2006 - Gleason 3+4, T2c, NX MX, pos margins
PSA 5/06 <0.1, 8/06 0.2, 12/06 0.6, 1/07 0.7.
Salvage radiation (IMRT) Jan-Mar 2007
PSA 9/2007 and thereafter <0.1
pcabefore50.blogspot.com

Postop
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 385
   Posted 12/13/2010 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
On any medications? A number of them cause a low white blood cell count.

Galileo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 696
   Posted 12/13/2010 3:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Nothing that I've seen on lists that can drive wbc down. Just Hytrin (for blood pressure) and Pravachol (cholesterol). The WBC had been down nearly to this level in the past before I had ever taken Pravachol.
I don't take any supplements or use anything recreationally other than a moderate amount of alcohol.

Jerry L.
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 3049
   Posted 12/13/2010 3:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Galileo,

I got my bloodwork a few weeks ago and the only thing out of the ordinary was my WBC. All my doctors told me that it wasn't anything to worry about. They looked at various other counts and saw they were fine and moved on. I don't have my numbers handy, but I thougth it was around 3.

Jerry L.
Nov. 2009 Dx at Age 44
Dec. 2009 DaVinci Robotic Surgery
Jan. 2010 T3b, Gleason 9
Feb. 2010 Adjuvant Radiation

PSA History:
-----------------
Nov. 2009 4.30
Feb. 2010 <.05
May 2010 <.05
Aug. 2010 <.05
Nov. 2010 <.05

Tim G
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2290
   Posted 12/13/2010 11:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Neutrophils fight against bacterial infection. Normally they are about 60% of your white blood cells. Some people just run on the low side, which is better than the high side. You doc knows your complete medical history so I'd go with his advice. If he has your see a hematologist they may do some further investigation about the cause. In the meantime, don't worry.
PSA quadrupled in 1 yr (0.6 to 2.5)
DRE negative 1 of 12 biopsies positive (< 5%)
open surgery June 2006 at age 57
Organ-confined to small pea-sized area, Gleason 3+2
Bilateral nerve-sparing, Prostate weight 34 grams
PSA's undetectable < 0.1

TinFoilHat
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 12/14/2010 7:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I just had my annual physical yesterday, and the only lab result that was outta whack was my WBC, at 3.3. My doc said it was nothing to worry about, and that there could be a variety of reasons, including some viral thing going on. It *is* the cold and flu season around here.
Jeff

Age: 49 (09/61)

PSAs: 12/08 - 1.8, 12/09 - 2.5, 6/10 - 3.9, 8/10 - 5.7

Biopsy 8/10: 14 samples, 5 positive, Gleason: 3 + 3

open RP 9/23/2010

Post Op Path: Organ contained, Gleason 3+3, nerve bundles spared, negative margin.

6 week post-op PSA < .01

142
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 6898
   Posted 12/14/2010 10:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Galileo,
 
I am now six months out from radiation, and both my red and white cell counts are far below the minimums. They were dead-center normal after surgery, before radiation.
 
My GP says it could be years before they come back to normal on their own, so I am avoiding anyone with so much as a sniffle, much less a fever. He is still holding off on any specific treatment, so that we can see what the natual progress is. Next general blood work will be in March. 

Galileo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 696
   Posted 12/14/2010 1:15 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks to all for responding.

I took a look back at copies of CBC reports I have at home, and my WBC started drifting below the normal range even before I was diagnosed or treated. And it has risen to nearly normal levels (3.9) after radiation. It bounces around, but overall is lower than it was in 2000 (4.87) and has never risen to normal levels. In 2008 it bounced way low, down to 2.2, and then recovered somewhat. My neutrophils, it turns out, are sometimes low and sometimes not, but recently they have been more low than not.
Galileo

Dx Feb 2006, PSA 9 @age 43
RRP Apr 2006 - Gleason 3+4, T2c, NX MX, pos margins
PSA 5/06 <0.1, 8/06 0.2, 12/06 0.6, 1/07 0.7.
Salvage radiation (IMRT) Jan-Mar 2007
PSA 9/2007 and thereafter <0.1
pcabefore50.blogspot.com
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