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Old 03-11-2008, 09:11 PM   #2
wisangel wisangel is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Milwaukee, WI, USA
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Re: how hight does white blood cell count need to be with chronic lymphocytic leukem

Before I attempt to answer your question, you need to realize that a person's WBC count is not the only, deciding factor in determining when to start treatment for CLL. According to my husband's oncologist, he does not begin treatment until or unless one of the following applies with a patient: 1)Their WBC count is >100,000 AND they are showing signs & symptoms of CLL-related complications, 2)They are experiencing (possibly life-threatening) CLL-related complications, even if their WBC count is <100,000; or 3)Their WBC count is rapidly and continuously increasing and over a short amount of time. Some of the CLL-related complications(that can play a part in deciding to start treatment) are: anemia, thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, enlarged lymph nodes &/or spleen, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, fevers, &/or night sweats.

To put all this into a real-life situation, my husband, who was diagnosed with CLL 3 years ago, just started chemotherapy last month(and for the very first time!) because of an enlarging spleen. On the 1st day of treatment, 2/4/08, his WBC count was around 52,000...and that's the highest it's ever been, thus far. If it weren't for the enlarged spleen, he would still be in the "watch and wait" mode.

Last edited by wisangel; 03-12-2008 at 03:03 PM.