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Platlet Counts

Jan Trinks's picture
Jan Trinks
Posts: 477
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi All:

My husband Charlie, saw his oncologist on Thursday - good report; sees no evidence of cancer. Praise the Lord! He's seeing both the rad onc. and reg. onc. every three months now. His blood work was great except his platelets are at 65,000. They've flucuated between 108,00 to now 65,000 from June to now. But in Sept. were at 85,000. Now he had just finished a round of augmention for a bad sinus infection on Sun. before he saw the doc on Thursday and he had to take a Z-pak the last of Oct. for a bad cold. So now the onc. wants him to come in Tues. and draw some marrow fluid to see why the platelets aren't regenerating faster, I guess. My husband asked if it was cancer related and he told him no - it's just that they had dropped and stayed down; he was very pleased with what he's seeing; it's just being the perfectionist this doc is (and he is he's all about medicine 24/7)! He said he may need to give him something to boost them or it may just be still recovering from the chemo. He had three inductive chemos last Dec. and Jan. two little carbos treatment during radiation and 35 rad treatments which he finished in April. His Pet Scan in Sept. was fantastic. So, being the basketcase wife I am, I was wondering if anybody out there has experienced this. Thanks and Merry Christmas to all and God Bless!

Jan Trinks

ratface's picture
Posts: 1319
Joined: Aug 2009

Jan, I'm probaly about a month behind your husband in treatment.I don't know the significance of the platlet counts but here are my numbers as a comparison if that gives you any indication of a baseline. Doc said they all look good.

WBC 3.8 K/ul within normal range

RBC 3.42 M/ul slightly below normal

platelets 169 k/ul normal range

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006


During my second bout with cancer (and chemotherapy ... this time carboplatin and taxol) I experienced low platelet counts AND low white blood cell counts on more than one occasion.

For a low WBC, I would be given a shot of Neupogen. For a low platelet count, however, OncoMan simply advised me to take a week or two off before coming back.

It seems that platelets last about 7-10 days (and, more importantly, the supply of platelets is also regenerated, normally, over that same period of time). Thus, OncoMan's decision to send me home for at least a week makes complete sense.

It is also true, according to my web research (:)) that the minumum 'norm' for platelets is about 150,000 (per ml), meaning that your hub's current count is less than half of that minimum (at 65,000), so I would suggest that you have some reason for concern, particularly because the counts have remained so low over an extended period of time.

The good news is that your hub does have a 'perfectionist' for a doctor, as you point out, someone who is also concerned about the numbers and willing to delve into the mystery to solve it.

Further good news is that doc does not suspect cancer at this time. My uneducated guess is that doc has been eyeballing this for some time and that his EDUCATED remarks regarding the cause probably not being cancer-related have to do with the way the counts have been acting up (or down, as the case may be), so to speak.

Best wishes to hub with his tests tomorrow, and good luck to you, too, Jan, in that regard.

Take care,


Jan Trinks's picture
Jan Trinks
Posts: 477
Joined: Apr 2009

Thanks, Joe for your comments. I was worried about you awhile back when I wasn't seeing your name on the replies! Could have been in the wrong forum. Anyway I'm glad you're back on here! Charlie had his test today and the doc told him to tell me to quit worrying; that he does this test all the time mostly on people who don't have cancer and never had cancer. All his blood work last week was great except the platets. And, today when they did a CBC his platets had increased to 94,000 from 65,000 just last Thursday. The doc also said in looking back over his platet count they had never been at 120,000 since he's been seeing him from the first. Stands to reason, when he first saw him he had cancer! Anyway, doc also said that 90% of the time this is caused by a rogue cell which is easy to take of in one shot. Needless to say I feel better. Part of the reason I'm such a basketcase from time to time is ever since March of 2007 when my brother (a Viet Nam vet who lived with us for 12 years after my mother died in 1996 and he developed all sorts of problems) became critically ill but did bounce back and was home for a year and then started one infection after another and was in the VA Hospital from June 2008 till he died in Nov. 2008 just three days before hubby started chemo on Dec. 1 last year. Anyway, it's been rather busy. But hubby has been back to work since June; and both the rad. onc. and reg. onc. see no evidence of cancer and his follow-up PET scan in Sept. was fastastic. Now, we just need to get these platets to behave. Thanks so much for comments and Merry Christmas and God Bless!

Jan and Charlie Trinks

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