7 doctors weighed in:

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

7 doctors weighed in
4 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Brandon Smithey
Dr. Brandon Smithey
Thank
Dr. Arthur Heller
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Yes, not usually

How low is low? Less than 1200 segmented wbcs is very low and increases risk of infection-can be due to marrow disorders, including leukemia, myeloma, meds (including chemotherapy, radiation therapy), reactions to meds, malnutrition.
, other. Lots of cancers are associated with normal WBC counts.

In brief: Yes, not usually

How low is low? Less than 1200 segmented wbcs is very low and increases risk of infection-can be due to marrow disorders, including leukemia, myeloma, meds (including chemotherapy, radiation therapy), reactions to meds, malnutrition.
, other. Lots of cancers are associated with normal WBC counts.
Dr. Arthur Heller
Dr. Arthur Heller
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Marsha Davis
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
25 years in practice
67M people helped
Continue
111,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors