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Doctors Lounge - Oncology Answers

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Forum Name: Leukemia

Question: Leukemia? Should I even worry?


 Anonymous - Thu Jun 05, 2003 7:04 pm

5 years ago when I was 17 I was diagnosed with Mononucleosis. I missed the last two years of High School and it seemed like I never really got better. My iron count in my liver was about 4 times higher than the normal and has since gone down but I still get it checked annually. Anyways I have never been the same since always run down no matter what I do, some days I feel so sick I can hardly eat and then on others I am fine. The last few times i have gone for a check up my White blood cell count has been up, not sure how much but enough for my doctor mention it. I understand leukemia and mono have similar symptoms. Only one test was done and it was only done once and I never went to another doctor, also I never had any real signs of mono outside of the fever and extreme fatigue. I figured since its been five years i doubt it could be leukemia but I was wondering if I should even ask my doctor next time I go for a check up?
 Dr. Jeffrey Gordon - Sat Jul 26, 2003 8:05 pm

Andy,

An elevated white blood cell count can be present for many reasons, most of which are not due to a leukemia. Although one thinks of various types of leukemias (usually an acute leukemia makes itself known in a very rapid peroid of time) in a differential diagnosis list of an elevtaed white blood cell count, these cells can be elevated due to other non-malignant processes. These cells are "designed" to increase in number when something in the body occurs, not just an infection. I would recommend that if your white blood cell count is still elevated, if your are still having symptoms, and if things are not improving on their own, then I would ask your doctor to run through a comprehensive evaluation. This may include your seeing a Hematologist (blood specialist).

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