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myelodysplastic syndromes

BeadlesAz
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2013

I had my semi-annual checkup with oncologist this week. It seems that my white blood cell count has been dropping. Six months ago it was 3.8 - now it is 3.5. From what I've read, normal is 4.5 to 10. My anal cancer was diagnosed in April 2009 and I completed treatment in June of that year. I'm a bit concerned because one of the reasons for a low WBC is "myelodysplastic syndromes" or MDS. There are other reasons but I'm a bit paranoid right now. One reason is radiation therapy - esp. in an area with a lot of bone - such as the pelvis. My doctor had additional blood work done on me and I'll know the results next week. Meanwhile, I thought I'd see if anyone in this group had any experience/knowledge on the subject.

Thanks, Teresa

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mp327
Posts: 3075
Joined: Jan 2010

I finished my treatment in September '09 and my white counts have been lower than normal many times since.  My oncologist never seems concerned about it, but my internist has suggested in the past that I see a hematologist.  I just had my 6-month check with my oncologist a couple weeks ago and this time my WBC was within normal limits.  He has mentioned in the past that some people's WBC never does get back in the normal range after cancer treatment.  I'm glad your doctor has done additional testing on you and I hope the results will show that there are no concerns. 

BeadlesAz
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi, MP - thanks for your reply. It has helped me calm down a bit. I really am not a worry wart - I just don't like not knowing. At least if you know something - you can make a plan!! It's only been in the last couple months that I feel like I'm back to my *pre-cancer* fiestiness and don't want anything else to deal with. Meanwhile, there is always chocolate.

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mp327
Posts: 3075
Joined: Jan 2010

I like your attitude!  Chocolate may not raise your blood counts, but it couldn't hurt to try!

BeadlesAz
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2013

Finally, got the lab results. Everything is back to normal. So much ado about nothing. BUT, I have recurring bouts of cellulitis in my left leg near the groin - area suffered rad burns. Well, I think it is cellulitis - my gp doesn't seem to have an opinion (???).  Anyway - I think that is what caused the wbc drop. Time will tell. Meanwhile, I wish I could find a doctor who apprepreciates post-cancer treatment problems.

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mp327
Posts: 3075
Joined: Jan 2010

I think there should be a specialty for doctors who do just that.  With the high rates of cancer and lots of people going through treatment, I don't know why that hasn't become a specialty. 

I'm glad your bloodwork shows everything to be okay.  I hope the cellulitis will clear up for you real soon.

BeadlesAz
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2013

Thanks, MP. And, I fully agree with the need for a specialty!

BeadlesAz
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2013

Finally, got the lab results. Everything is back to normal. So much ado about nothing. BUT, I have recurring bouts of cellulitis in my left leg near the groin - area suffered rad burns. Well, I think it is cellulitis - my gp doesn't seem to have an opinion (???).  Anyway - I think that is what caused the wbc drop. Time will tell. Meanwhile, I wish I could find a doctor who apprepreciates post-cancer treatment problems.

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