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CLL Support Association
10,882 members16,820 posts

Need info on raising red cell count

Hello I have been here on and off for about a year. I know you are all going through your individual health issues and I hope and pray you find the answers you are looking for. I joined because my brother was diagnosed with CLl q11 a little over three years ago. He is 55 years old and had been in great health and then diagnosed with this. His red blood cells continue to drop and I’m not sure what the Dr will try next. Is there anyone out there having a difficult time keeping your red count up? He has been on a clinical trial trying to keep his white count down and that has been difficult too. I would appreciate it if anyone could give me any advice to help pass this on to my brother. I know they talk about a bone marrow transplant but that is so scary too. Thank you all so much as I try to reach out to you and find some answers for my brother who I love dearly. Take care all of you. I wish you the best with finding the right answers for all of you too. 💕

3 Replies

Hi Lorray,

You've previously mentioned that your brother had chemo treatment for his CLL so I presume he is now on a trial with non-chemo treatment? If you can share his specific treatment, you'll get more useful answers. Some treatments have more of an impact on red blood cell production than others and sometimes blood transfusions are necessary. There's also sometimes an auto-immune contribution causing lowered red blood cell counts or greater filtering out of red blood cells by an enlarged spleed, but CLL treatment should improve that. It is also possible that he is not absorbing sufficient nutrients for his body to be able to make sufficient red blood cells. His regular doctor can check for this via an iron/folate/B12 study blood test.

Is he experiencing any symptoms from his anaemia? Do you know what his haemoglobin count is? (Haemoglobin is a more accurate measure of anaemia than red blood cell count).


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Neil thank you so much for reaching out to me. I appreciate it so much. I will try and find out more information. He has had a few red blood cell transfusions lately. He is very tired from his low red count. His clinical trial didn’t really help too much with bringing down his white count. He heads back to Seattle on Tuesday to see his Dr. Thanks again and I will see what more I can find out. Best of luck to you.

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Red blood cells count are the hardest to bring up of all the blood draws. Especially after you've had any chemo. Good luck you can get the count rising again.


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