Medical Questions > Cancer > Leukemia Forum

Symptoms of neutropenia

User Profile
Last Aug my white blood count was 5500. In May, it was 3800 and now it is 3600. My doctor says he will re-test it again in 3 months. Out of all of the tests in the CBC, everything was normal except my white blood count. Should I wait? I feel fine but I'd rather catch something in the early stages than wait for symptoms.

Did you find this post helpful?
First Helper User Profile DoctorQuestion

User Profile
replied July 20th, 2009
Leukemia Answer A6962

Given the data you provided (white blood count 5500 in august 2008, 3800 in may 2009 and 3600 now) it seems likely that you might be experiencing neutropenia. Neutropenia is a condition in which there is an abnormally lower number of white blood cells.

The results solely are not enough for definitive diagnosis, because neutropenia might have several different causes that might be grouped in two major groups: affecting the bone marrow which is responsible for white blood cells production or increasing the destruction of the white blood cells.

The decreased production might be caused by aplastic anemia (a severe condition in which the bone marrow ceases to produce all of the blood cells), certain medications, tumors affecting the blood, and hereditary disorders. Please note that a vitamin B12 deficiency might be a simple and easily treated cause for lower white blood cells production.

Increased white blood cells destruction might be present in certain autoimmune diseases where the immune system detects the white blood cells as foreign cells that have to be destroyed. Chemotherapy, which is used in treating cancers, might destroy white blood cells.

As you can see, there are many possible reasons for neutropenia. Certain of them are more and certain are less serious and easily curable. Therefore, you might want to visit a specialist in hematology for additional tests if the blood cells keep staying low. Meantime, check the blood concentrations of B12 vitamin, because if this condition is detected, then it might be easily solved by taking enough B12 supplements in your body.

Did you find this post helpful?
This question has been answered by the doctor. This topic is now open for public discussion, however no comments below this point will be answered by a doctor.
Must Read
Click here for basic info on leukemia, including diagnostic types and how doctors classify this disease of blood forming tissues....
Is leukemia inherited? Read here for more info on what causes leukemia and what environment risk factors or triggers you might avoid....
Leukemia can affect many parts of the body, including the organs of the cardiovascular and digestive systems. But what are the major symptoms of leukemia?...
DISCLAIMER: "Ask a Doctor" questions are answered by certified physicians and other medical professionals. For more information about experts participating in the "Ask a Doctor" Network, please visit our medical experts page. You may also visit our Leukemia , for moderated patient to patient support and information.

The information provided on eHealth Forum is designed to improve, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician. Personal consultation(s) with a qualified medical professional is the proper means for diagnosing any medical condition.