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How low did your CBC go with external radiation?

Posts: 557
Joined: Oct 2018

I finished 6 rounds of chemo March 1st.  I finished external radiation (IMRT to the pelvis) June 6th.  I'm still on Herceptin.  Three weeks ago, my white count was low, at 4.0, my hemoglobin was low, at 10.2, and my platelets were in the low 80s.  But today, three weeks later, everything was lower!  My white count was 2.6, hemoglobin 9.5, and platelets 75.  I would have thought that they would have gone up, since radiation stopped about 18 days ago, but instead everything went down.  I'm getting worried.

The radiation oncologist says that it's not common to see it go this low, but it's possible.

Asking if anyone who has had both chemo and external beam radiation has seen their CBC drop this much, and if so, can you give me an idea of when it hit the lowest point?  I mean, if it were to continue down like this, I'm getting into the danger zone.

Posts: 274
Joined: Oct 2017

I had a little different situation in that I had 6 chemo (adriamyacin), radiation, and then 1 more round of chemo.

I just looked and the lowest my hg got was 8.1, platelets were 92, and white count was 3.3 That was after chemo #6. So they stopped chemo and I had radiation. Three weeks after radiation my counts were higher than that, though they went down a bit after chemo#7 but adriamyacin is known for knocking down blood counts. About 6 weeks later everything was almost normal though white counts took a little longer. I would think you'll see your counts go up again soon.

Posts: 1153
Joined: Jun 2016

That sounds right. My white count kept going down after radiation. It took about 6 months for things to get back to normal. Continue to be careful when you are out and about. Rest as much as you need to. Treatment is such a long haul, it stands to reason that recovery is going to take a while.

Posts: 557
Joined: Oct 2018

Wow.  I never expected that much bone marrow toxicity with IMRT.  Mostly, I feel pretty great otherwise, except still with poor bowel function, but I manage.  I'm up and about and doing like crazy.  It's just so great not to be on anything except Herceptin, which for me has no side effects at all that I can tell.  I'm making hay while the sun shines!

Posts: 27
Joined: Jan 2018

My neutrophil counts went down to .03 and my platelets went down to 10 After second infusion. had 11 weeks between last infusion and radiation. Told radiologist about low counts and he said radiation doesn’t usually have much of an impact on blood levels. Demanded CBC after 11th radiation treatment and my neutrophils were .92 and platelets were 43. Had to take 4 week break. My blood counts didn’t go down when I restarted radiation.

Harmony09's picture
Posts: 79
Joined: Aug 2017

I did 3 chemo; 52 external, full abdominal radiation; 3 brachytherapy; then 3 more chemo. I had carbo/taxol 3 weeks apart for chemo. When I began radiation, I thought it would be a break from chemo. I was definitely wrong. I felt more fatigue and a lot more nausea with radiation, and all my blood values took a bigger dive.

I hope you feel better soon!!! 



cmb's picture
Posts: 730
Joined: Jan 2018


I hadn't read any posts from you recently and I had wondered how you were doing. So it was nice to see your response here (although I still miss your lovely profile picture!).

derMaus's picture
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

Ditto, Harmony! So glad to hear from you. Like cmb, I do miss your picture, though... your smile was wonderful. Best always, B

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