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Does having a high white blood cell count indicate leukemia

A 38-year-old member asked:
Dr. Edward Gold
43 years experience Internal Medicine
Not necessarily: White blood counts can be elevated as a result of an infection or inflammatory process. When this happens it is called a leukemoid reaction and is a ... Read More
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Dr. Guido Tricot
Specializes in Hematology and Oncology
Not necessarily: It should always be of concern and should lead to a more complete blood work, especially to see what your red blood cell count and platelet count is. ... Read More
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4 thanks
Dr. Ashok Patel
55 years experience Hematology and Oncology
Not necessarily: While leukemia can be associated with high white cell count, infections are more commonly associated with high white cell count.

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A 42-year-old member asked:
Dr. Donald Higby
51 years experience Medical Oncology
Not high at all: Leukemia is a word that means "white blood". Originally leukemia was recognized when the white blood count was very high. However, as we develop a b ... Read More
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10 thanks
Dr. James Ball
18 years experience Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
Not too high: Leukemia can be seen at any white blood cell count, high or low. It causes other counts to be low, typically. So low platelets and low red blood cel ... Read More
A 45-year-old member asked:
Dr. Michael Dugan
Specializes in Hematology
The WBC is always: Elevated in the chronic leukemias - chronic myeloid (CML) and chronic lymphoid (cll). It can be low or very very high in the acute leukemias (aml and ... Read More
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Dr. James Ball
18 years experience Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
Any number: We diagnose leukemia with white blood cell counts that are low, normal and high. Usually the other blood counts are also affected (low hemoglobin, lo ... Read More
A 20-year-old male asked:
Dr. Sewa Legha
49 years experience Medical Oncology
No, not always!: Acute leukemia can have high counts, near normal counts or even low white counts because the disease actually begins and resides in the bone marrow. W ... Read More
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A 34-year-old female asked:
Dr. James Ferguson
45 years experience Pediatrics
Confusing data: In most circles a white blood count of 16.95 would mean 16,950 cells per microliter with a expected range of 4500-10,000.Pregnancy is known to cause a ... Read More
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1 thank
A 35-year-old member asked:
Dr. Michael Dugan
Specializes in Hematology
No answer here: Leukemia patients can have low, normal and high wbc. Must have the clinical context, the other CBC numbers and especially the WBC differential.
A 37-year-old female asked:
Dr. Eric Chevlen
46 years experience Medical Oncology
Possible: How much is "several"? Since all people who develop leukemia previously had normal blood tests, it's POSSIBLE to have leukemia after previously normal ... Read More
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A 37-year-old female asked:
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
48 years experience Pathology
Not likely: A WBC count of 11.8, in the presence of infection is no reason to worry about leukemia. If your infection does not clear up in a week or so, or if you ... Read More
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A 52-year-old female asked:
Dr. Ed Friedlander
43 years experience Pathology
This is serious: This was once uniformly fatal, but now there are sometimes cures of adult acute leukemias, if that is indeed what this is. The pathologist's opinion a ... Read More
A 43-year-old female asked:
Dr. Morton Levitt
A Verified Doctor answered
A US doctor answered Learn more
Leukemia & High WBCs: An elevated white cell count can indicate an infection as well as leukemia. Other tests can be run to arrive at the correct diagnosis; i would follow ... Read More

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