CLL Support Association
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Raised WBC count

Hi everyone,

I think I mentioned that I had my blood tests done a couple of weeks ago to see how things are progressing. I am lucky that I feel fine (other than tired and lethargic) and have no other physical symptoms at the moment. My lymphocyte count is slowly increasing - 7.8 last January, 8.9 in July, 12.3 in November. However for the first time my white cell count has also taken a jump - what does this mean? I have been focussing solely on my lymphocyte count to date so it would be great if someone could remind me what the significance of the white call count might be? Thanks.

(White cell count was 10 last January, 12 in July and 16 in November).

I know it's important to remember that I feel ok regardless of the numbers.. but it's sometimes hard not to wonder what it means when the numbers keep going up.



3 Replies

Your white cell count is comprised of lymphocytes (the CLL and normal B-cells and a range of T-cells), then in decreasing order, neutrophils, monocytes, eosinophils and basophils. You'll have to look at the differential section of your blood test to see which of the non-lymphocyte white cells has increased.

The increase is most likely in response to an infection (mainly neutrophils) or an allergic reaction (eosinophils). Given you are feeling fine, I expect that there's nothing to worry about, in fact, take it as a good sign that your bone marrow is not that impacted by your CLL and is able to ramp up white cell production to keep you healthy.

I expect you'll find your non lymphocyte white cell count will back to your normal levels next test.



Thanks Neil, that's really helpful and reassuring.

Best wishes



Generally these counts will bounce around and under 30K CLL doctors don't have much concern... when your absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) gets over 30K, that is an indication of CLL progression... and you are followed more closely.

Track your counts for trends not the occasional up and down...


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