Got some blood results back. Can anyone help with these?

Hey guys,

Firstly I wanna thank you all for keeping my anxiety levels in check over the past few days. Its been horrible but the support I got was priceless, so thank you.

Today I ended up in the ER after having pain in my tummy, its since gone away (slightly) but nevertheless the ran some bloods on me and I would love some input. As you all know I have been EXTREMELY anxious about having some sort of cancer.

4 days ago my WCC was 16, and today its 11.5.

4 days ago my Lymphotcytes were 3.7 and today 3.2.

4 days ago my Neutrophils was 11.5 and today its 7.2.

I dont even know what most of these mean to be honest. She did tell me that its promising that my bloods are trending downwards, however I am still concerned about my Lymphocytes as they seem to still be quite high, again I am not too certain of what this means.

My haematologist cannot see me until end of Jan, so there will be many anxiety attacks by the time my appt comes round.

She checked my lymph nodes and said they were only slightly swollen. Looked inside my throat and the back of my throat is red and she said it looks like an old infection (or possibly one thats about to start up, AGAIN)

I am trying really hard to take the advice of you lovely people and not worry. My anxiety isnt helping any of this, I know.

I would love your input in all of this. I hope you can help.

LK

22 Replies

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  • LK, those levels are only marginally outside of normal range and look highly consistent with somebody fighting a self limiting infection as evidenced by your inflamed throat (which could cause your lymph nodes to swell).

    I would feel reassured with levels like that at time of infection particularly if I had a long term inflammatory condition as you've previously described.

    Time to take your foot off the worry pedal that's fuelling your anxiety!

    Hope your tummy pain eases soon.

    Best wishes,

    Newdawn

  • Really Newdawn? OH I HOPE SO!

    Something i am really confused about, on the internet it says that normal levels of Lymphocytes are between 1.5–3.5 x 10 9/L mine is 3.2 yet it was marked as HIGH on the blood result paper and the dr said its high. I have searched many articles on the internet that state the same ranges. Why do you think that is?

  • Generally the low and high ranges are also provided on your blood test report. These vary between testing laboratories - based on the normal distribution of the population tested by the laboratory. (To be technical, 95% of the population fall within the low/high limits; 5% can have results outside the normal range and still have healthy results - for them: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refer... ) I've had my blood tested at two different laboratories; one gave a normal range of 1.0 to 3.5 and the other 1.0 to 4.0. So for some reason, your testing laboratory has a lower high limit than is normal. You will probably find that if you check your result on an earlier blood test, your lymphocyte count would have been below 3.2

    Your lymphocytes are probably higher than normal at the moment because your body is making more of them to fight your infection. To have CLL, you need a lymphocyte count in excess of 5.0. Very few of us have counts anywhere near as low yours. Most of us would have lymphocyte counts in the range of 10 to 150, with some of us having counts of 300 or more. More evidence that you don't have leukaemia/lymphoma.

    Neil

  • Neil thank u so much for that. I had no idea that this could happen. So really I could have normal levels and not even know it, all because the lab does it differently!

    It's hard because I'm still so afraid. I think I will be until I see my blood dr. It doesn't help when the ER dr kept telling me "oh I'm so glad you're seeing a haematologist" I felt like saying pls make up less obvious that u feel I am dying!

    The thing is I'm not sure what I am fighting. Sometimes I feel well with no symptoms except fatigue and my drs say I'm fighting infection. How could I be fighting infection with no real obvious signs of infection? And then 3 weeks later I get hit with an actual infection! It's crazy especially when I read on cancer and how it makes ppl susceptible to infections and fevers. My fevers do go up.

    I dunno, I'm just scared that's all.

  • Our immune systems are constantly fighting infections and eliminating incipient cancers. It is quite possible to have infections without outward signs - known as subclinical infections: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subcl... Sometimes these can go on for a very long time and finally get the upper hand (when we finally develop symptoms) when we push our bodies too hard, due to too much stress, not eating or sleeping well and so on. Until that happens, we may just feel below par, lack energy, feel fatigued, or tire easily...

    Neil

  • That makes perfect sense Neil.

    The dr at the hospital told me that my symptoms are not in line with someone with an autoimmune or autoinflammatory disease which I beg to differ.

    Is an infectious disease dr the right one to see at this stage? besides of course my haematologist who needs to rule out anything serious.

    LK

  • From what you've described (high lymphocytes, neutrophils and CRP, now resolving), it very much looks like you've had an infection from which you are now recovering. So while I'm not medically trained, I'd say an infectious disease doctor would be your next line of enquiry if you don't continue to improve. Hopefully you are now over the worst of it and won't need to do that...

    Neil

  • Hi lkvvz

    If I had your blood results I'd be dancing and skipping around the room because I would not have a CLL diagnosis. Everyone in this community would be extremely grateful to have your lymphocyte count.

    Being anxious is not helping you, but I guess you are anxious by nature so not much you can do about it.

    Whatever ails you I hope you soon feel so much better and able to get on with living, have a good 2017.

    Bubnjay1

  • Lab Tests Online (https://labtestsonline.org/) is a FREE, award-winning health information web resource designed to help patients and caregivers understand the many lab tests that are a vital part of medical care.

  • Dr. Susan Leclair has about 30 videos on CLL blood counts and anomalies, I recommend you spend some time with her videos on Patient Power... its a truly wonderful resource.

    patientpower.info/bio/susan...

  • Thank u everyone. Last night I discovered yet another swollen and somewhat painful gland under my arm. Could this be lymphoma? I honestly don't know what to think anymore. The internet loves to tell me I have cancer and I can't help but research because I feel so hepless.

  • You have obviously had an infection or several. Lymph nodes swell when lymphocytes grow to fight infections. Stop reading all the scare stories on the Internet and you'll feel much better! The Australian Leukaemia Foundation researched how often GPs had patients develop lymphoma in their career and it worked out at around 6 cases in their entire career! Blood cancers are rare!

  • You always make me feel better!! I hope you understand that u have truly helped me. Thank you Neil.

  • Update!

    Hello everyone. I thought I would give everyone an update on my condition.

    So I had an appt with my heamatologist. He took blood from me and told me that my bloods were normal. He then felt around for any swollen glands and at the time I had no flare ups. I told him I am concerned that I have Lymphoma and he said that cancer tends to get worse and not better, however as I am reading, some types of cancer in the early stages can make the glands swell and bring them back to normal and continue this pattern for a long time until things progress, so I am not taking his word for it. He told me that it might be an autoimmune disease and ran some blood tests for that which came back negative. Gave me an appt for 3 months and I left happy.

    2 weeks later I am admitted into hospital with the worst pelvic pain in the world. I was screaming at home before my husband suggested we go to the hospital asap. When i got there the pain was better, so they didnt bother running any scans besides blood test. My WCC was 13 and my CRP was 7 (the lowest it has been in months) I cannot remember the number of my Lymphocytes but I remember it being slightly low and my nuetrophils slightly raised - again I have no idea what this means that dr said to me "your WCC is a little high but it has been like this for a while so we are not concerned" that mind boggled me because should that be a reason for concern? They sent me home with a pelvic ultrasound to do outside the hospital and that was normal.

    2 weeks later and the glands in the side of my neck are swollen, not a lot but they are. Then upon scratching my head i noticed the gland at the back of my head swollen on my right side, nothing on my left. No other symptoms besides a minor cough that comes and goes.

    Yesterday I notice a massive lump behind my right ear. Its a solid lump and it freaked me out. I got no sleep worrying from it. Woke up this morning and it has gone down a little bit but not a lot.

    So as you can see, I am still dealing with swollen nodes that are worrying me enough to keep me awake. What is going on with me??

    The only other symptom i have is fatigue.

    So worried. I just wanna be around for my kids :(

  • We have hundreds of lymph nodes throughout our bodies. They swell as lymphocytes multiple to fight infections as this is where our bodies investigate the pathogens to find unique identifying 3D surface structures and make antibodies that will lock onto those, signalling the pathogens for destruction by our immune system. Nodes swelling to increase production and shrinking when an illness is passed is normal, not a sign of cancer, A node staying swollen may be a sign of lymphoma cancer, but this can be caused by other factors. You should ask a doctor to investigate if you have any swollen lumps or bumps that stay swollen, particularly if they continue to grow.

    You are obviously still fighting infection(s) as indicated by your still significantly raised CRP result (but thankfully lower than it was) and your higher than normal WCC. Your WCC comprises the sum of different white cells, about 65% neutrophils, then lesser amounts of lymphocytes (B and T types), basophils, eosinophils and monocytes. Different white cell types (depending on whether the infection is bacterial, fungal, viral, etc), will increase as the body grows more of these to fight an infection. That is why you have a raised WCC and why your haematologist isn't concerned. They'd probably be more concerned if you had a raised CRP and a normal WCC! White cells aren't all in the blood, they are stored in lymph nodes, the spleen and other body tissues. They can fall as well as rise with infection and infection stage. If your haematologist thought you had a blood cancer, there's a simple blood or node biopsy test called Flow Cytometry that can be performed.

    Given your body is fighting an infection and fighting requires energy, of course you are going to be fatigued!

    Please relax - your unwarranted stress cannot be helping your body fight your infection(s).

    Neil

  • Hi Neil,

    Thank you so much for your response I really appreciate it.

    If indeed I am still fighting this freaking infection why isn't it presenting itself like most infections do with other symptoms? Is it possible to be fighting an infection for this long with no real obvious and typical symptoms?

    I know that I was sick monthly for about 6 months and I guess whatever I was fighting is still present, but it confuses me because we always think of infection as pain or being in bed immobile! It worries me a bit that no one is able to figure out where my infection is coming from if indeed this isn't cancer.

    I'm being test for RA by the way. My father had it since he was 16 and so does mum. Ive been getting sore joins and stiff fingers in the morning. I'm thinking if it was RA it would probably explain almost everything!

  • Because infections can be subclinical (see my mention of this above, with the explanatory link), we don't know that 'most infections do ... present with real obvious and typical symptoms'. As I said back then 'Our immune systems are constantly fighting infections...'

    If you are concerned about an inherited disposition towards RA, there are blood tests to check this: arthritis.org/living-with-a...

  • Hey Neil,

    Just got back from the Dr. Ordered a blood test to check for RA factor. He told me not all RA present in blood but its a good starting point.

    I'm seeing my blood Dr again in Feb which is great because I can tell him of my new symptoms. I wish there was an easy way to see what infection is going on to treat the bugger. Imagine it's as simple as a course of antibiotics and all this is done with?!!

    The Dr told me they can't give me antibiotics until they know what they are treating. Makes sense!

  • Got my ultrasound results for upper abdominal pain. They found 2 lesions on my liver. One is 8mm and the other is 1.2cm both solid and round.

    I have fatty liver which i knew of. I do not drink.

    I guess this is cancer. They want me to wait 3 months to repeat the test but cannot justify waiting that long if its cancer. I am sad and deflated.

  • Don't make the mistake of assuming cancer - again! Read Characteristics of common solid liver lesions and recommendations for diagnostic workup from 2009: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

    Note particularly the following from this article:

    1) Prior to scans becoming common, many people had benign lesions and didn't know it. You wouldn't know about these lesions unless you'd had a scan. As the introduction states 'Liver masses are increasingly being identified due to the widespread use of imaging modalities such as ultrasonography (US), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging. The majority of these lesions are detected incidentally in asymptomatic patients.' (My emphasis)

    2) Lesions size < 1.0 cm are usually benign. 1.2cm is barely out of the usually benign range.

    Most importantly, people who have these benign lesions don't blog about them, so you get a very biased perspective of how common cancer is compared to how far more common false indications are. If you've been asked to wait 3 months, then your medical team are pretty certain the lesions are benign, or they would be being more proactive. There's a high probability that no change will be observed in 3 months time.

    Please note that while I'm not medically trained, I'm quietly confident that you are over-reacting. That's quite normal, so take a deep breath and trust your medical team to find a non-cancerous, but infection cause for your out of normal range blood test results.

    Neil

  • Neil thank you so much for your reply, i really do appreciate your reassurance.

    I guess Im afraid because I have a fatty liver, and I was reading that when masses are found in a fatty liver they are almost always malignant.

    Also read that benign masses are not painful, however I do have upper abdominal pain. I am unsure if its related or not, but its definitely there mainly on my left side. The ribs are very tender to the touch, but the ultrasound found no abnormalities with the ribs at all. My Dr thinks its inflammation, however the pain is also beneath the ribs which makes me believe its my liver.

    Today I requested an MRI scan to put my mind at ease because I cannot wait 3 months before i find out whats going on. I have heard and read way too many stories of people getting misdiagnosed and its really scary!

    I do hope you are right and I hope they are nothing but a pain in the ass! Gosh its been one thing after another with me. For someone who literally NEVER got sick, I am definitely making up for it now! Its absolutely crazy.

  • Your liver is on the right side of your body!!

    Good on you for following up - I suspect that your anxiety regarding your health is likely currently as big a concern to your health as your infection(s) so you do need to put your mind at ease. Finally, you need to be aware that medicos recognise that screening tests like scans can have negative outcomes - much of it due to follow-ups of false positives, i.e detection of what turn out to be benign masses...

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