A website for discussions about any type of cancer, including lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, laryngeal cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and others
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Radiation Therapy and White Blood Count

  1. #1
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    54

    Radiation Therapy and White Blood Count

    After only 10 treatments, my white blood count went from 4.9 to 3.5. Seems like it is due to Radiation? anyone hear of that before? Was there any intervention? Hope they don't stop the Radiation, as I am in a big hurry to get it over and done with. Hope it is not the beginning signs of leukemia or something similar (I am a real worrier, as you probably can tell..........)

    I see my Radiation Oncologist on Monday, so will also ask her. Don't know why these things all come up on a weekend, when no one in the office is available for information.

    Thank you in advance for your help,
    Roxanne
    Roxanne
    Lumpectomy R. Breast 1/5/05, Post-Menopausal
    1.2 cm invasive ductal CA
    Histology Grade 2
    Estrogen/Progesterone +
    Her-2/neu Negative
    Nodes negative, 2 Sentinel, 8 other nodes
    RT 28+5, Tamoxifen (as osteoporosis)

  2. #2
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    60
    Hi, Roxie: I too had my WBC drop dramatically during radiation after 15 treatments. Mine from 3.8 after chemo down to 2.4 by the time radiation was over. I asked the radiologist what I could do and they were not worried. I asked the radiologist to consult with the oncologist to be sure as I was getting ready to start chemo again (taxotere) for 4 treatments and didn't want it to be set back. The oncologist agreed nothing to worry about. I started taxotere this week and got the Neulasta shot and WBC back up again. I would definately talk with your radiologist to see if there could be some other reason but mine was not concerned and everything appears to be normal again.

    Marion
    Age: 48
    Dx 10/14/04
    lumpectomy 10/26
    1.6 cm
    Stage IIA
    SN biopsy 10/29
    1/14 nodes +
    4 A/C
    30 Rads
    Taxotere complete
    Tamoxifen for 5 years

  3. #3
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    54
    What a comfort you are Marion. Thank you for your quick response. I just may make it through all of this.......
    Roxanne
    Roxanne
    Lumpectomy R. Breast 1/5/05, Post-Menopausal
    1.2 cm invasive ductal CA
    Histology Grade 2
    Estrogen/Progesterone +
    Her-2/neu Negative
    Nodes negative, 2 Sentinel, 8 other nodes
    RT 28+5, Tamoxifen (as osteoporosis)

  4. #4
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    54
    My white blood count has decreased even further.....so now down to 3.1.

    No one seems to concerned, but I am.

    My Radiation Oncologist adamantly stated that this was not due to Radiation (hmmmm, if not Radiation, then what?).

    Luckily, I only have 2 more weeks left; so maybe next time I get a WBC it will have increased (hope, hope, hope).

    I am extremely tired most of the time, but attribute this to the low WBC????

    Its too bad that there aren't more answers from the professional people as to what is happening. I sure would feel better just to know that they knew and that things would be OK

    Roxanne
    Roxanne
    Lumpectomy R. Breast 1/5/05, Post-Menopausal
    1.2 cm invasive ductal CA
    Histology Grade 2
    Estrogen/Progesterone +
    Her-2/neu Negative
    Nodes negative, 2 Sentinel, 8 other nodes
    RT 28+5, Tamoxifen (as osteoporosis)

  5. #5

    Roxanne

    I Have a separte blog page and work with Drs. Jay and Leo. My name is Pat and I am a therapist.I am so sorry for your frustration and confusion. A Greg Anderson with Plume publishing has written a book anout Cancer 50 Essential Things to Do. You may want to give it a review and see if it does
    help you gain back a bit of power and control. Take those two wherever you can get them.. Let me know what you felt about the book. I need another pair of eyes before I recommend it to anyone else.

    one small step at a time with a breath in between.

    Sincerly,

    Pat
    Pat DeVita-Vessa, MFT

    This is a dislaimer that this is not medical advice only information to help you

  6. #6
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    54
    Thank you Pat
    I have copied and pasted the book you recommend.
    I will let you know what I think.

    Thank you
    Roxanne
    Roxanne
    Lumpectomy R. Breast 1/5/05, Post-Menopausal
    1.2 cm invasive ductal CA
    Histology Grade 2
    Estrogen/Progesterone +
    Her-2/neu Negative
    Nodes negative, 2 Sentinel, 8 other nodes
    RT 28+5, Tamoxifen (as osteoporosis)

  7. #7
    Top User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    1,549
    Hello

    Usually radiation can cause some decrease in WBC, though not localized radiation like you are getting. There are other things that could be causing it, but 3.1 is still not worrysome.

    I wouldn't think low WBC can cause fatigue, but radiation certainly can.

    I am glad Pat is now here, so she can also chat with you all about many issues...
    Leonardo F - Webmaster Cancer Forums
    Disclaimer: this information is for informational purposes only. It is not medical advice.

  8. #8
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    54
    Leo,
    My husband, due to my concern, researched the net and found this quote from the National Cancer Institute on blood cells:
    How are Side Effects on the Blood Managed?
    Radiation therapy can cause low levels of white blood cells and platelets. These blood cells normally help your body fight infection and prevent bleeding. If large areas of active bone marrow are treated, your red blood cell count may be low as well. If your blood tests show these side effects, your doctor may wait until your blood counts increase to continue treatments. Your doctor will check your blood counts regularly and change your treatment schedule if it is necessary.
    As this is a quote which is taken out of a patient education brochure for any patient who may receive radiation, I thought it applied to me too. However, as you disagree, I am now very confused.

    Pat, I did locate the book you mentioned, and do agree that cancer is part of a mind-body-spirit continuum. However, it didn't answer my question on white blood cells. I like self-help books so will probably buy this and read it. By the way, when you say you are a 'therapist', what type of therapist. I am unacquainted with the initials you use behind your name.
    Roxanne
    Lumpectomy R. Breast 1/5/05, Post-Menopausal
    1.2 cm invasive ductal CA
    Histology Grade 2
    Estrogen/Progesterone +
    Her-2/neu Negative
    Nodes negative, 2 Sentinel, 8 other nodes
    RT 28+5, Tamoxifen (as osteoporosis)

  9. #9
    Top User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    1,549
    Roxi

    Sorry, I didn't mean to confuse you. I don't disagree at all with what the pamphlet says. What I meant is that radiation can cause decreased WBC if large areas of you bone marrow are irradiated. But in Medicine anything can happen, and low WBC can lead to delays in treatment.

    best regards,
    Leo
    Leonardo F - Webmaster Cancer Forums
    Disclaimer: this information is for informational purposes only. It is not medical advice.

  10. #10
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    35

    radiation and low WBC

    HI Roxi: Sorry you have had this confusion over the WBC's. Sometimes, I think every person reacts so differently to the cancer treatments that it is hard to predict what is actually normal. My radiation oncologist said that my counts might drop only because my bone marrow bank had been drawn upon 8 times with my A/C and Taxol dose dense treatments. With Neulasta, I always recovered enough to receive my next dose of chemo. However, you can only make so many withdrawls from the bone marrow bank. It made sense to me. I think my counts remain ok and I just completed my 21st treatment. I was also worried about my RBC's as I was anemic throughout my chemo with a HGB in the 10 range. I am now up to 13. I had Aransep shots everytime I got chemo.
    I do have some fatique now but it is nothing like what I experienced with chemo. Hugs, sharon
    DX: October, 2004,age 59
    Lumpectomy with Sentinel node
    Sentinel node + with 5mm lesion
    ER/PR +
    HER2 -
    Invasive Ductal with 8mm primary lesion
    Dose Dense AC x 4 with Taxol x4
    Radiation x 6weeks

  11. #11
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    54
    Hi Sharon

    My WBC went down to 3.2. The oncologist insisted it was from Radiation, the Radiologist insisted it was from the Tamoxifen (my research indicated that Tamoxifen does cause a transient leukopenia, so this is possible).
    However, now that Radiation is over with (hurray hurray), my WBC is now coming back up (very very slowly); and I remain on the Tamoxifen. So go figure! At this point, it remains a theoretical, not practical, concern.

    At 21 Rads, you don't have to much more......over 2/3 done. Good for you! It is such a relief when it is all over.
    Thank you for responding to me.
    Roxanne
    Roxanne
    Lumpectomy R. Breast 1/5/05, Post-Menopausal
    1.2 cm invasive ductal CA
    Histology Grade 2
    Estrogen/Progesterone +
    Her-2/neu Negative
    Nodes negative, 2 Sentinel, 8 other nodes
    RT 28+5, Tamoxifen (as osteoporosis)

 
+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Low White Blood Cell Count (WBC)
    By jona in forum Prostate Cancer Forum
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 12-20-2011, 12:21 AM
  2. White blood cell count 100?
    By Hopefulwife in forum Lymphoma - Hodgkin's and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Forum
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 08-14-2011, 05:32 PM
  3. low white cell blood count...
    By Sister in forum Pancreatic Cancer Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-31-2011, 08:45 PM
  4. Low white blood count
    By thong in forum Lymphoma - Hodgkin's and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-14-2010, 07:14 AM
  5. Low White blood Cell Count
    By mm in forum Lymphoma - Hodgkin's and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-11-2009, 03:47 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts