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Doctor insights on: Does High White Blood Cell Count Mean Cancer

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Dr. Liawaty Ho
Board Certified, Hematology and Oncology
17 years in practice
13M people helped
1

1
Does a high white blood cell count mean I have cancer?

Does a high white blood cell count mean I have cancer?

Not necessarily: Many conditions such as infection, inflammatory process, infarction can increase white blood cells count. This is a normal body response. However, if white blood cell counts persistently elevated in the absence of infection/inflammation &/or if it is associated with abnormality on the other blood counts-red blood and platelets -further evaluations including bone marrow biopsy is likely needed. ...Read more

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Dr. Vicken Poochikian
Board Certified
36 years in practice
2M people helped
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Dr. Barry Rosen
3,998 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

An uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion and metastases is what cancer is defined as. It produced abnormal growth of cells which acquire destructive properties causing serious threat to host's life, unless it can be removed or destroyed by ...Read more


Dr. David Mcadams
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
17 years in practice
232K people helped
2

2
I have an elevated white blood cell count and HPV does this mean I have cancer?

I have an elevated white blood cell count and HPV does this mean I have cancer?

Unlikely: An increased white count can occur for many reasons (eg, with infection, inflammation, stress response, etc). But just because your WBC is up and you happen to have HPV does not mean the two are related. For your HPV make sure that you are up to date with your gyn exams as this is the best way to prevent HPV related cancer of the cervix. ...Read more

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Dr. Vicken Poochikian
Board Certified
36 years in practice
2M people helped
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Dr. Boris Ripa
Board Certified, Pediatrics
30 years in practice
710K people helped
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Dr. Joshua Lawson
Board Certified, Radiation Oncology
1M people helped
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4
I wondering, but why is a high white blood cell count consistent with cancer?

It isn't: Most people with cancer have normal white cell counts. Elevated white cell counts are frequently seen in patients with leukemia/lymphoma but most cancer patients don't have elevated white cell counts. People with cancer can be prone to develop infection which can lead to elevated white cell count but this isn't truly from the cancer but rather the infection/inflammation. ...Read more

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Dr. Vicken Poochikian
Board Certified
36 years in practice
2M people helped
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Dr. Helmy Guirgis
Board Certified, Hematology and Oncology
40 years in practice
205K people helped
5

5
Can viral infections be diagnosed by a high white blood cell count assuming blood cancers are not a factor?

Can viral infections be diagnosed by a high white blood cell count assuming blood cancers are not a factor?

Yes: Viral infections can cause relatively high white cells, mostly lymphocytes. Look at the whole blood counts, white, red cells, size and shape. And platelets. Any nodes, fever, sweats, weight change, bleeding, sore throat....? Do not put your self in a corner. Think outside the box. Discuss with your md. ...Read more

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Dr. Paul Grin
Board Certified, Pain Management
30 years in practice
23M people helped
6

6
Could periodontitis cause high white blood cell count,elevated platelet count, and low neutrophils. Any causes besides cancer can cause this.

Could periodontitis cause high white blood cell count,elevated platelet count, and low neutrophils. Any causes besides cancer can cause this.

2 separate problems: Periodontitis and gingivitis frequently are seen in patients with neutropenia. 1. See your PCP first for consultation, tests and treatment. 2. See your dentist for periodontal evaluation and treatment, according to PCP recommendations. ...Read more

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Dr. Joshua Lawson
Board Certified, Radiation Oncology
1M people helped
7

7
If you have oral cancer will your white blood cell count be high?

If you have oral cancer will your white blood cell count be high?

Not likely: Most people have normal blood counts at the time of diagnosis. This is true for most cancers, with leukemia and some lymphomas the most frequent exceptions. ...Read more

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Dr. Tara Solomon
Board Certified, Obstetrics and Gynecology
34 years in practice
88K people helped
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8
Can nonoxynol-9 result in vaginal inflammation and higher white blood cell count in vaginal discharge? Or is WBC count only related to infection?

Can nonoxynol-9 result in vaginal inflammation and higher white blood cell count in vaginal discharge? Or is WBC count only related to infection?

Nonoxynol 9 : Yes, nonoxynol 9 and the condom itself can lead to inflammation of the vahina and elevated white cells. This is known as leukorrhea. It is not necessarily an infection like yeast. ...Read more

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Dr. Ed Friedlander
Board Certified, Pathology
38 years in practice
136M people helped
9

9
My white blood cell count was 6.25... Is this normal or low? Is it okay to take prednisone for poison ivy with this WBC count?

  My white blood cell count was 6.25... Is this normal or low? Is it okay to take prednisone for poison ivy with this WBC count?

You're fine: Normal WBC. I trust lymphocyte and neutrophil counts were fine also. Take the prenisone for the poison ivy only if it's so bad you can't sleep otherwise. We're glad to help. ...Read more

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Dr. Brandon Smithey
Board Certified, Pathology
35K people helped
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10
Is it true that a low white blood cell count be a sign of cancer?

Is it true that a low white blood cell count be a sign of cancer?

Possibly: While other diseases can cause low white blood cell counts, the possibility of cancer in the bone marrow is always raised when this is seen. Cancer cells can replace the normal cells of the bone marrow. The normal cells produce mature circulating blood cells (white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets). If they are compromised, so are their products. ...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. Vicken Poochikian
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36 years in practice
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