Should I be concerned about Blood Cancer or other disease?

Posted by yogawithkimzen @yogawithkimzen, Sep 10 1:48pm

My beloved doctor of 30 years retired. Unfortunately now I have concerns about my labs and the new doctor blew me off. Platelet count 415, Lymphocytes 59, Absolute Lymphocytes 6.8 and Neutrophils 27. The lymphocytes and neutrophils have been like this for 7 years (I just realized it by looking at my old lab work). The platelet count is new. Never to my knowledge has this been because I had a virus or infection. I am 64. Should I be concerned?

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Hi @yogawithkimzen, having your favorite doctor retire is always like losing a a trusted friend, isn’t it? It’s so disheartening when the replacement isn’t nearly as attentive or has you feeling disregarded! I had that happen this year myself after my re-entry into the non-cancer world with a new primary care provider. I needed a local doctor to treat the ‘normal’ ailments in life and my new one was a real shocker after my “spoiled for life with any other doctors” treatment at Mayo. I wish every clinic could be like Mayo!

Those of us on Connect aren’t medical professionals so we can't diagnose or treat ailments but we can use our experiences to help provide some answers or at least reassurances. I’ve had what feels like a zillion blood reports over the last 3 years so I can at least look at see what’s in the ‘red flag’ area and what looks pretty normal according to my experiences.

Your platelet level is still under the statistical ceiling of 450 per microliters of blood. The values are usually between 150 and 450 with the average for women being a 371,000 and men being 317,000. So your value isn’t beyond that threshold but at your next year exam just have another CBC to compare the values. The number of platelets in a person's body can fluctuate from different factors such as overall health, infection, injury, and hormone levels in the body.
The lymphocytes at 59, are up a smidgey when generally they are between 1000-4800 per microliters of blood.
And neutrophils are in the normal range of the usual tables. You stated that these levels have been stable for the last 7 years so I’d take that as a good sign.

Most of these numbers are also used in conjunction with the entire CBC, kidney and liver function to give an overall picture of a patient’s health. If you’re not having any symptoms and everything else checked out, your doctor may not have been dismissive so much as letting you know there is nothing alarming on your blood work. That would be time to exhale and enjoy your good report.

Does this help? 😉

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@loribmt

Hi @yogawithkimzen, having your favorite doctor retire is always like losing a a trusted friend, isn’t it? It’s so disheartening when the replacement isn’t nearly as attentive or has you feeling disregarded! I had that happen this year myself after my re-entry into the non-cancer world with a new primary care provider. I needed a local doctor to treat the ‘normal’ ailments in life and my new one was a real shocker after my “spoiled for life with any other doctors” treatment at Mayo. I wish every clinic could be like Mayo!

Those of us on Connect aren’t medical professionals so we can't diagnose or treat ailments but we can use our experiences to help provide some answers or at least reassurances. I’ve had what feels like a zillion blood reports over the last 3 years so I can at least look at see what’s in the ‘red flag’ area and what looks pretty normal according to my experiences.

Your platelet level is still under the statistical ceiling of 450 per microliters of blood. The values are usually between 150 and 450 with the average for women being a 371,000 and men being 317,000. So your value isn’t beyond that threshold but at your next year exam just have another CBC to compare the values. The number of platelets in a person's body can fluctuate from different factors such as overall health, infection, injury, and hormone levels in the body.
The lymphocytes at 59, are up a smidgey when generally they are between 1000-4800 per microliters of blood.
And neutrophils are in the normal range of the usual tables. You stated that these levels have been stable for the last 7 years so I’d take that as a good sign.

Most of these numbers are also used in conjunction with the entire CBC, kidney and liver function to give an overall picture of a patient’s health. If you’re not having any symptoms and everything else checked out, your doctor may not have been dismissive so much as letting you know there is nothing alarming on your blood work. That would be time to exhale and enjoy your good report.

Does this help? 😉

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Lori, you give such good advice. My other advice is if you can, get another opinion, that way you can make sure which Dr is a good fit for you. I did that, and in the end found that the first Dr I saw was the one I liked the best.

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Thank you. There is more going on with my health (symptoms) than what was appropriate to share here. I have made an appointment with another Family Practice provider. I hope to see a hematologist at some point also, to rule out some type of viral infection as well.

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@yogawithkimzen

Thank you. There is more going on with my health (symptoms) than what was appropriate to share here. I have made an appointment with another Family Practice provider. I hope to see a hematologist at some point also, to rule out some type of viral infection as well.

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Hi @yogawithkimzen, The unique aspect of our Connect forum is being completely anonymous. We encourage open discussions here where other members might jump in to offer some perspective, guidance or encouragement. As my mom used to say frequently, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” Other members might be going through the same things you are. 🙂

Now that you’ve also mentioned there are other symptoms with your health, along with what you shared initially, a second opinion is a really good idea. Plus, as @jerrlin mentioned, finding a doctor that’s a good fit for you is especially important. Hopefully you get some answers and if you do, please feel free to share if you need some feedback.
I’m happy you found Connect. There’s over 70 health related groups in the forum so I hope you take a peek and pop into any discussion where you can share your life experiences to benefit others.
Are you a yoga instructor?

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Thank you. Yes, a yoga instructor and Ayurvedic Health Counselor. I counsel people on their health and wellness. Wellness has been my passion for more than 20 years. At 64 I do not take any prescription medication and have been very healthy, until these concerns came up. I appreciate your help!

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@yogawithkimzen

Thank you. There is more going on with my health (symptoms) than what was appropriate to share here. I have made an appointment with another Family Practice provider. I hope to see a hematologist at some point also, to rule out some type of viral infection as well.

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Lori knows me from our own corespondents for my health problems. Although Lori gave you good advice, I must compare you numbers with my own personal health issues which are extensive. So take my advice as a learning experience. After having 4 blood clots from November 2021 to March 2022, I learned a valuable lesson. Clot #1 ended up in my right lung as a pulmonary embolism, a very dangerous and painful condition that could have killed me or caused a major stroke. Clot #3 was large enough that it almost blocked the stent in my Left Atrial Chamber. It only took seconds for my brain to feel the lack of blood and oxygen and I immediately realized I was going to pass out and most likely die. Luckily, my blood pressure must have skyrocketed and shattered the clot as I felt it exit my heart. I tell you this information because my lab tops out platelet count at 400. So according to them, your platelet count is above normal.

Females are prone to throw clots, especially with high platelet counts. My estrogen level spiked because my hormones are all messed up because of a birth accident. My Endocrinologist (hormone specialist) has me on what’s called hormone replacement therapy. So I’m just saying your platelet count is high but it does fluctuate because it takes platelets 10 days to mature. I doubt you’re in any danger of throwing a blood clot but the higher the level, it increases your chances of it happening. Just keep an eye on your platelet count and you should be okay. My last platelet count was 190, my lab has 140 as the low level. I also have a blood condition that affects it.

Now for your other blood levels and what I’ve learned from mine. As I said, I have a blood condition that’s known as MGUS. It’s caused by precancerous cells progressing towards cancer. It’s already causing cells to mutate and I’ll either end up with Multiple Myeloma or a rare form of Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Now I’ll explain why I told you about my MGUS. You see, while researching about my upcoming cancer, I checked out about B & T blood cells. They are the cells that your body makes to defend your body from invading bad cells. From what you mentioned your levels are almost opposite of mine and are all part of the antibodies our body makes. B Cells are defending our bodies against any invaders but are destroyed because they may not have the power to kill them especially to a new invader like Covid 19. Once our bodies defense network make antibodies to destroy the invader the T Cells will recognize it and kill them if they invade again. That the problem with the Covid Variants, a new invader our body’s antibodies may not have the power to kill them. I’ve had Covid 5 times so far, including the last one BA.5.

So now for your lesson. When you lymphocytes are below normal and your neutrophils are above normal, it means your body is fighting a battle. In my case, it’s fighting a dangerous enemy, cancer cells trying to find a home. The other cells you mentioned are the baby cells trying to mature. All my young lymphocytes are low and all my neutrophils are high, along with all the other cells that end in “phils”. As you can see, your levels are in the normal range but you might have a mild inflammation issue somewhere in your body causing you to be concerned. So my advice, keep an eye on your B Cell levels, especially if your lymphocytes drop below normal and the neutrophils are above normal.

Now, not to scare you but some people have MGUS and don’t know it. It usually doesn’t cause symptoms and you can have it for 20 years before it becomes active. Even then, only 1 out of 100 people with MGUS progress into cancer. I’m the unlucky one. You can live your entire life with MGUS and not have a problem. I only learned I had it in 2019 at age 75 and never knew. Since you’re an activist for your body, like I am, keep alert for any change in your body. I learned in 2013 about precancerous cells inside me when a dermatologist remove two moles that were biopsied as precancerous. Hope I haven’t upset you, but you seem to be alert to any changes in you body and I just wanted to teach you what to look for. Take Care. Becky1024

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Thanks Becky. I am aware that I have lymphocytosis and many diseases (cancer for example) as well as viruses and bacterial infections can cause it. All of the lab tests in the past 4 years show this with low neutrophils. And it’s always been passed of as a random virus. My point is you don’t have a random virus for 7 years. I am hopeful to get to the bottom of it. I appreciate all that you’ve shared.

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@yogawithkimzen

Thanks Becky. I am aware that I have lymphocytosis and many diseases (cancer for example) as well as viruses and bacterial infections can cause it. All of the lab tests in the past 4 years show this with low neutrophils. And it’s always been passed of as a random virus. My point is you don’t have a random virus for 7 years. I am hopeful to get to the bottom of it. I appreciate all that you’ve shared.

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And best of luck with your health Becky!!

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@yogawithkimzen

Thanks Becky. I am aware that I have lymphocytosis and many diseases (cancer for example) as well as viruses and bacterial infections can cause it. All of the lab tests in the past 4 years show this with low neutrophils. And it’s always been passed of as a random virus. My point is you don’t have a random virus for 7 years. I am hopeful to get to the bottom of it. I appreciate all that you’ve shared.

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7 years, not 4

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Lori's suggestion to ask for another CBC sounds wise to me.

I am 68, diagnosed with essential thrombocytosis CALR+ at age 60, but onset of ET probably age 55. Platelets swim around in 400s on hydroxyurea + baby aspirin. No clots yet, knock wood.

I also have moderate to severe mitral valve prolapse (heart) and an enlarged thyroid they're watching.

It seems like a no-brainer for docs to tell old ladies like me with these morbidities to get exercise to help circulation, eat heart healthy, and get good sleep–all of which may help reduce overall clot risk.

I sure wish a session with a physical therapist and a nutritionist were a standard of care for any of these ailments, especially for those of us with many of them.

Take care blood friends!

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@yogawithkimzen

Thanks Becky. I am aware that I have lymphocytosis and many diseases (cancer for example) as well as viruses and bacterial infections can cause it. All of the lab tests in the past 4 years show this with low neutrophils. And it’s always been passed of as a random virus. My point is you don’t have a random virus for 7 years. I am hopeful to get to the bottom of it. I appreciate all that you’ve shared.

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Just remember, you can have MGUS for many years and not show any symptoms. I had and still have a low grade fever for many years, 10 years at least. That’s the way your body defends itself my turning up the heat which kills many types of bugs. I never had many tests that showed different cells of the body like I get now. One blood test I get is for inflammation in the body. Its levels go from 0 to 5. For many of the tests, I registered a 1, meaning my body was fighting a bad guy like mild arthritis Then one test I got was during a kidney infection It registered a 3, meaning my body was fighting a pretty nasty bad guy. MGUS can also linger around many years. Take care. @becky1024

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