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Does a blood test always shows leukemia?

Leukemia and blood cancer discussion.

Does a blood test always shows leukemia?

Postby izyan » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:07 pm

Does a blood test always shows leukemia? I dont mean if shows that you have leukemia but if always shows some abnomalities. And what are these abnomalities? Because I heard that chronic leukemia is not always there,sometimes goes away and then comes back. If someone goes for a blood test when leukemia is not there? The doctor said Im fine(exept of the low iron levels but Im afraid for the lymphocytes too because the number is high) but Im still sure I have this disease(I have a swollen lymph node in my groin area about 1.5-2 cm, every day I wake up with a new bruise in my leg, I have body pains and I feel fatigue). My blood test results are these:
Hemoglobin: 13.5 12-16
Hematocrit: 40 36-46
RBC-Red blood cells: 4.49 3.8-5.8
MCV-Average size of red blood cells: 89 76-96
MCH: 30.10 26-32
MCHC: 33.80 32-38
Platelets: 256 140-440
White cells: 5.3 4.5-10.5
Neutrophils:46 40-75
Lymphocytes: 45 20-45
Monocytes: 5 2-10
Eosinophils: 4 1-6
ESR: 5 <20
Iron: 36 50-120
Im a female 24 years old. Help please but only someone who knows the answer. Thanks very much and sorry for english!
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Does a blood test always shows leukemia?

Postby budington69 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:07 pm

That's a good question. When your blood is taken it's then sent to a haematology lab and any abnormal results are looked at by a scientist. Things that qualify as abnormal are any values outside of those reference ranges you have written (although different labs have their own ranges) and also the analysers will flag up some abnormalities in the make up of the cells which we call blast cells. Blast cells are basically immature cells, if you can imagine that cells "grow up" just as we do and "baby" blast cells should be kept at home in the bone marrow until they're grown up enough to do a good job. But occasionally they leave home early and get in to the peripheral blood and this is when we start to wonder whether there's any underlying pathology. Immature red cells (reticulocytes) in the peripheral blood are often seen in anaemic patients, but immature white cells can be seen in blood cancers. The scientists will normally make a blood film which allows them to look at the cells down a microscope, which is where it's easiest to see a malignant picture. Other stand out signs of leukaemias are either massive amount of white cells (and I mean over 35 maybe higher) but even a relatively mild increase in lymphocytes is always a little worrying. Also a very small amount of white cells should set off alarm bells and, as you may have gathered, if very large or very small levels of WBCs can mean malignancy then so can "normal" levels.

I can tell you now that your bruising and fatigue are not due to low platelets and red cells (which is what causes these symptoms in blood cancers). If you have lymph involvement it is more likely to be a lymphoma than a leuk but by looking at your results I definitely wouldn't be alarmed (in fact, they're so normal that they wouldn't even be looked at by a scientist in the lab.) You're low iron doesn't seem to be affecting your RBCs either, otherwise we would see low haemoglobin and low MCV. I would stop worrying about a blood cancer.
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Does a blood test always shows leukemia?

Postby clarance » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:14 pm

I'm intrigued. Why didn't you ask your doctor at the time? Why rely on Y!A, (good as it is), on the answer?
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Does a blood test always shows leukemia?

Postby caddaham50 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:24 pm

Yes - you don't have it
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