What Is The White Blood Cell Count In Leukemia?


8 Answers

James Milford Profile
James Milford answered
The white blood cell count refers to the number of white blood cells in an amount of blood. The standard varies slightly between laboratories but ranges about 4,300 to 10,800 cells per cubic millimeter. For patients with leukemia, the white blood cell count is vastly higher, sometimes even over 200,000.

Not all high white blood cell counts indicate leukemia, of course. A high count could indicate something much less serious, such as a bacterial infection.

The count is important to leukemia patients because it helps determine the stage of cancer and the effectiveness of treatment. For example, after chemotherapy, a white blood cell count might be ordered to see whether the chemicals had any effect on the cancer cells.

Cancer of the blood cells is leukemia. It is grouped by what type of white blood cell it affects and how quickly it progresses. When lymphocytes are affected, the cause is lymphocytic or lymphoblastic leukemia; myelocytes are involved in myelogenous leukemia. Either can be acute, worsening quickly and making the patient sick right away, or chronic, worsening over a long time. It might be years before the patient notices any symptoms.

The most common leukemias in adults are acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In children, the most common form is acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), although they also might have AML or various myeloid leukemias. There also are less common types such as hairy cell leukemia.

In acute myelogenous leukemia, the body makes a large number of myelocytes that cannot fight infection very well. As they build up in the blood and bone marrow, they crowd out healthy blood cells, causing anemia, infections and easy bleeding.

Symptoms include weakness, night sweats, fever, and pain or a feeling of fullness below the ribs. Adults might have unexplained weight loss, while children are prone to easy bruising and bone or joint pain.
Melissa Watson Profile
Melissa Watson answered
Different leukemias have different diagnostic criteria.  Generally the white blood cell count should be below 10,000. 
Just because the white count is elevated, however, doesn't mean you have leukemia.  There are many other factors that are considered.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Carol McCulley Profile
Carol McCulley answered
I am not a doctor or even a nurse but when my step dad had that his count was very low also and with his a few chemo treatments and his count came back up very high. But ever case is different. And There are so many different kids of cancer. There is not real good answer for that.
Dr Hunt Profile
Dr Hunt answered

The diagnosis of a leukaemia is far more complex that simply looking at the number of leukocytes in a blood sample.

Some leukaemias have a raised white count but this not the only feature. Some forms of acute myeloid leukaemia can present with pancytopenia (all cell counts low), this can also include a VERY low WBC count. The diagnosis lies in a bone marrow biopsy. The blood can be very low in white cells but if the bone marrow is packed full of blasts then this is diagnostic of acute leukaemia.

Usually diagnosis of an acute leukaemia is a blast count of >20% in the blood OR in the bone marrow. Some have lower percentages but have very specific criteria for genetic errors or translocations.

Chronic leukaemias are usually less dramatic presentations but can still present with extremely high WBCs, these can be as high as 250,000 /mm3 but this can also apply to acute leukaemias too. Again diagnosis rests with a bone marrow biopsy and cytogenetic studies..... Along with the eye of an experienced physician.

Simply looking at the white cell count is never enough to diagnose leukaemia, it can only suggest it.   

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/attachments/National/br_1044551883.pdf -

this may be of some help !!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Normal white blood cell count is between 4,000 to 11,000 cells/mm3. If the WBC count is less then 4000 then it is said that the person is suffering from Leukemia.
thanked the writer.
Melissa Watson
Melissa Watson commented
Actually, leukemia is elevated white blood cell count....leukopenia is a decreased white blood cell count.

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