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Doctor insights on: Does Having A High White Blood Cell Count Indicate Leukemia

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Dr. Richard Mcgee
Board Certified, Hematology and Oncology
44 years in practice
206K people helped
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Does having a high white blood cell count indicate leukemia?

Does having a high white blood cell count indicate leukemia?

Not necessarily: There are many possible causes of a high white blood cell count including infection, allergic reactions, medication effects, other types of "inflammation", and also leukemias. ...Read more

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Dr. Warren Strudwick
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24 years in practice
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Dr. Liawaty Ho
1,077 doctors shared insights

Leukemia (Definition)

Leukemia is a malignant hematologic neoplasm that originates in the bone marrow and represents a clonal proliferation of hematopoietic elements belonging to any of the myeloid, lymphoid, erythroid, and megakaryocytic lineages. Of note, other hematologic neoplasms like lymphoma or myeloma may demonstrate a leukemic phase without actually originating in the bone marrow ...Read more


Dr. James Ball
Board Certified, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
13 years in practice
574K people helped
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How high would my white blood cell count have to be to have leukemia?

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, low platelets). ...Read more

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Dr. Warren Strudwick
Board Certified
24 years in practice
282K people helped
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Dr. Donald Higby
Board Certified, Medical Oncology
46 years in practice
72K people helped
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3
How high would my white blood cell count have to be to be leukemia?

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 better understanding, we know that leukemia can be associated with a very low, normal, or high white blood cell count. What is important is the process going on in the bone marrow. ...Read more

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Dr. Michael Dugan
Board Certified, Hematology
5M people helped
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How severe would my white blood cell count have to be for me to have leukemia?

How severe would my white blood cell count have to be for me to have leukemia?

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. ...Read more

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Dr. Warren Strudwick
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24 years in practice
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Dr. Sewa Legha
Board Certified, Medical Oncology
44 years in practice
9M people helped
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If you had normal white blood cell count & all other normal bloodwork several months ago is it possible you could have leukemia anyway?

If you had normal white blood cell count & all other normal bloodwork several months ago is it possible you could have leukemia anyway?

It is possible but: It depends on many factors. leukemia can develop quite quickly and make people sick very fast. So any blood tests done more than one month may not be a reliable guide to what you are asking about. ...Read more

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Dr. Martin Rubenstein
Board Certified, Hematology and Oncology
39 years in practice
1M people helped
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6
After leukemia treatment what normal range white blood cell count?

4,000-10,000: The normal range for WBC is 4, 000 - 10, 000. Sometimes, depending on the type of leukemia and treatment given, the WBC might be lower than the normal range as a side effect of the treatment. To be a remission, there must not be any abnormal cells in the blood or bone marrow. ...Read more

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Dr. Ed Friedlander
Board Certified, Pathology
38 years in practice
136M people helped
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7
My white blood cell count was 365000 when i was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (2012), how long would I have lived without treatment?

My white blood cell count was 365000 when i was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (2012), how long would I have lived without treatment?

Not long: Hope you get a long-term cure, and glad it was picked up. The acute leukemias are chaotic systems and it's impossible to predict when death may come. The actual white count is immaterial, while a very low platelet count may result in a fatal hemorrhage at an unpredictable time and organ involvement unrelated to lab values can do the same. ...Read more

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Dr. Scott Selinger
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
6 years in practice
71K people helped
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Ref. Range 4.0-11.0. My white blood cell count was 11.8. How likely is leukemia? I had a sinus infection and abd rash at the time.

Ref. Range 4.0-11.0. My white blood cell count was 11.8. How likely is leukemia? I had a sinus infection and abd rash at the time.

Not likely: A number of things can cause an elevated WBC including infections (like your sinus infection) and even just stress (mental or physical), so it would seem unlikely that just based on this you would have leukemia or any other serious condition. ...Read more

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Dr. Donald Colantino
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
55 years in practice
5M people helped
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52yr f, suspected acute leukemia, white blood cell count 25.0, bruising, fatigue, to receive blood transfusions.How serious is this?Is this fatal in adults

52yr f, suspected acute leukemia, white blood cell count 25.0, bruising, fatigue, to receive blood transfusions.How serious is this?Is this fatal in adults

Various types: Some types of acute adult leukemia respond better to treatment than others. Your hematologist/oncologist is best qualified to advise, treat and follow you. ...Read more

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Dr. Ed Friedlander
Board Certified, Pathology
38 years in practice
136M people helped
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If you have a CBC with differential and the only thing abnormal is the high white blood cell count can you dismiss luekemia for the most part?

If you have a CBC with differential and the only thing abnormal is the high white blood cell count can you dismiss luekemia for the most part?

No: The way the cells look is more important. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia will show elevated lymphocytes. Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (all) may be "aleukemic" with normal or low white count. If you are concerned about leukemia, your physician needs to talk frankly with you and a hematologist consult may be in order in any case. Good luck. ...Read more

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White Blood Cell (Definition)

Body blood cell that responds to inflamation or infection or ...Read more


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Dr. Warren Strudwick
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