1 (edited by betzeegirl Wed, 27 Jun 2012 15:51:57)

Topic: husband's WBC count too low for chemo

Does anyone know how to get the WBC count up? He had this problem even before he started the chemo last week. Then, a few days after the initial bloodwork,  his level was normal and he was able to have treatment. This week the same thing--he schlepped all the way to Sloan only to be turned away because his ANC count was only 1000, which also results in low WBC. The term is Neuropenia. Anyone know what to do about this?

2 (edited by eli Wed, 27 Jun 2012 16:30:25)

Re: husband's WBC count too low for chemo

Ask your oncologist about Neupogen or Neulasta. Both are used to treat neutropenia. Neupogen requires more frequent shots. Neulasta is similar to Neupogen but lasts longer, so the patient doesn't need as many shots.

My wife's ANC dropped too low after the first cycle of Gem/Cis. She did Neupogen shots for the remainder of her chemo.

(To be honest, I'm very surprised the hospital turned your husband away without mentioning these medications)

Re: husband's WBC count too low for chemo

Thanks, eli! yeah i'm surprised too! we're on a clinical trial--maybe that has something to do with it?

Re: husband's WBC count too low for chemo

Yes, it's possible. All patients in a clinical trial have to follow the same treatment protocol. The breaks from the chemo might be allowed, but extra drugs like Neupogen or Neulasta might be not.

Another consideration is safety. If the chemo drug is new, they might be concerned about unknown drug interactions.

Of course, this is just speculation on my part. Ask them to explain what's going on.

Re: husband's WBC count too low for chemo

I received neupogen for a low wbc during chemo, but it was not a clinical trial.  Most of the clinical trials I read say you must have a high enough white count to participate, so that's probably the difference.

Take care,

Re: husband's WBC count too low for chemo

Does he eat healthy like you do?? All that organic stuff???? (If I remember correctly the answer is not really) I think there's some foods that might help it rise, too. I know there are for proteins and RBC, so why not WBC?? I just don't know what they might be....
I'm sorry he couldn't get chemo. I hated when I would get all the way up there only to be told my bilirubin was too high for chemo. That was the normal problem for me, but I was on FUDR with the pump and that's some nasty stuff.
Have you talked to his onc about him getting chemo closer to home? I mean, Princeton Medical Group is right there, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Dr. Richard Lee. He is such a nice man, and always so happy when he gets to share good news with me. Maybe you can ask or at least have him do blood work there the day BEFORE he "schleps" up to Sloan???

"Don't just have minutes in the day; have moments in time."
Any opinions I give are based on personal experiences, and are not based on medical knowledge. I strongly suggest receiving medical care and opinions.

7 (edited by betzeegirl Thu, 28 Jun 2012 05:37:47)

Re: husband's WBC count too low for chemo

Kris! that's a good idea--have him to the bloodwork before the schlep! the only problem is that things are extra strict  with this clinical trial...but we will ask!!!!
and to answer your question...NO! he drinks more than a pot of coffee a day and eats LOTS of sugar! and i have to force him to eat healthy!! (but now he's allowing me to help him, so that's great!)