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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: first oncology visit

 candiebar1976 - Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:03 am

I saw an oncologist yesterday because my family physician can not figure out what is wrong with me. I have a bloated, difficulty eating (feels like everything is getting trapped), head aches, fatigue, pain in my whole body. The oncologist looked over my labs from last week and said the only number she is concerned with is the absolute lymphs 6.3 high x10E3/ul 0.7-4.5. The oncologist said there is a possibility that it may be lymphoma although it usually is not present in my age group. I am only 33. I am concerned because when I called an internal medicine doctor to schedule an appointment I was explaining my symptoms and the receptionist slipped and said so you may have cancer. Could it be a possibility? Is lymphoma genetic? I am just a little freaked out.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:41 am

User avatar Hi,
Your absolute lymphocyte count may be high but,it can not be interpreted in isolation.It has to be seen in the context of the total WBC count.

Normally the % of Lymphocytes is between 20% and 45% of the WBC (Ref. Range).

Lymphocyte Count (Absolute)..... Ref. Range 1000 - 3500
Lymphocyte Count (Absolute) >4,000/mm3 may be considered as high.

The absolute lymphocyte count is calculated by multiplying the lymphocyte percentage by the total white blood cell count.

Absolute counts are used to determine if the percentages reflect real changes in the numbers of the paricular cells. For example, a normal % of lymphocytes in an adult is roughly between 20 and 45 %. That would mean an absolute count of between 800 - 5,000. So, a differential report with a granulocyte count of 90% and a lymphocyte count of 2% might suggest that

a) the granulocytes are elevated OR
b) the lymphocytes are decreased.

Absolute counts would sort out this dilemma. For example,if the white count were high - say 50,000, the absolute lymphocyte count would be 1,000 or within acceptable limits, therefore the problem is to do with the granulocytes.

To site another example: same differential but a white cell count of 3,000. In this case, the granulocytes are within acceptable limits but the lymphocytes are low.

High absolute lymphocyte counts are seen in many conditions (viral,bacterial,protozoal infections as well as lymphomas and leukemias).
Therefore,your counts have to be only interpreted in the context of the total WBC count.
Best wishes!

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