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anybody know of ways to increase white blood cell count to hopefully avoid the usual neulasta injection?

Posts: 22
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi, my blood cells are pretty good, except for the wbc after round c. I get weekly taxol and once every 3 weeks carbo. Its been just below the normal level, not enough to stop treatment but I have to get a neulasta injection after every round c of treatment. Does anybody know of foods I can eat to hopefully keep the wbcs up and hopefully avoid another l20 mile round trip for this shot? With gas as high as it is and only one person working right now, I need to save wherever I can. Any help would be appreciated. I thought I remembered a post about vit. c rich foods but I couldn't find it when I went back.


Debbie :)

Fayard's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: May 2011

I just finished chemo last week, but two weeks before that my WBC were 2.8, the lowest since I started chemo.
Even though I do not each much fish and zero red meat, I ate shrimp, salmon, carrots, and lot of red potatoes.
The following week, my WBC were 4!
I must to have done something right.
It does not seem to be that high, but it was something given the fact that these were always below 4.

I am guessing that if you are consistent, then the results will be better.

Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 2010

I took Gemzar and Taxotere and also had to have Neulasta injections. They gave the injection to me the same day of treatment so there were no additional trips to the infusion center. Not sure if they can do that with the treatments you are receiving but it may be worth asking.

daisy366's picture
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

I am very surprised that most everyone has had these shots. I have not had any and count myself very grateful. My doc is into the "less is more" philosophy. I don't get anything "just because". I only get things I need.

After my 5th chemo, my blood counts did tank and the conversation came up about neulasta. I researched this and got nervous about what is in them so didn't want to get the shot. I did do something that I think helped me - who knows about what really helps. Anyway, I was into guided imagery and meditation when I was in treatment. I imagined my bone marrow manufacturing white blood cells - my cat helped me with this. Lo and behold, when I had my next bloodwork I was good to go!! My treatment was delayed a week but then I was on track again.

I also had weekly chemo for 7 weeks last year and no problem with bloodcounts. So, there are some of us that have ducked these shots. I hope I continue to be one of these.

I would encourage everyone to question the whys of all these things. My initial attitude was to be a compliant sheep about everything, but this has changed. I'm grateful for my doctor and his less is more philosophy. He is all about quality of life.

Take this for what it is worth and many blessings to you. Mary Ann

Songflower's picture
Posts: 631
Joined: Apr 2009

My Gyn Onc uses neupogen always during chemo. My medical oncologist never uses it unless absolutely necessary. He believes if you use too much that the body will stop producing normal WBC. My friend who was in agressive breast cancer treatment like me had alot of neuopogen and when she finished her WBC never rose past 2 and I believe 12 years later it is still 2. Mine always comes back to normal despite all of the chemo I have had. I am back with my old oncologist now. I know there is a controversy about using to keep on schedule. Some believe it is better to use the neuopogen to keep on schedule. One thing you could do is learn to give it to yourself. I have learned and also I know other patients who lived far away have learned. It's very easy. Get an orange and an insulin syringe (the nurses can give you this) and learn to go straight in, withdraw slightly to make sure you see no blood; if you see blood you are in a blood vessel. Inject straight in. It's very easy to do. Practice on an orange and have the nurses help you. You take home what ever medication you need and keep it in the refrigerator. Diane

Posts: 471
Joined: Feb 2011

My integrative doctor recommends the following for low white counts:

For low neutrophils (which protect us against infection): 2 grams a day of astralagus (two capsules, twice a day) between meals. (Gaia is a good brand; get the 60-capsule bottle "Super Astralagus."

For low lymphocites (killer white cells that fight cancer) he prescribes AHCC (a proprietary blend of mushroom extracts routinely given to chemo patients in Japanese hospitals). It's expensive, esp the brand he recommends "Protocols for Life Balance," available online, but may well be worth it as it mitigates the effects of chemo while keeping white cells up. Maitake-D fraction may be nearly as good at half the cost.


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