What Cancer Causes High White Blood Cell Count – Medical Review by Susan Falk, M.D., FACP – By Lori Smith, MSN, BSN, WHNP-BC – Updated January 3, 2023
White blood cells help fight infection and are essential for health and well-being. Changes in white blood cell levels can occur during infection, pregnancy, and some cancers.
- 1 What Cancer Causes High White Blood Cell Count
- 2 High White Blood Cell Count In The Elderly: Learn Today!
- 3 Types Of White Blood Cells And Their Functions
- 4 Low Blood Counts
What Cancer Causes High White Blood Cell Count
A high white blood cell count may indicate that the body’s immune system is working to clear the infection.
Monoclonal B Cell Lymphocytosis (mbl)
It may also be a sign of physical or emotional stress. People with certain blood cancers may also have high white blood cell counts.
A low white blood cell count can indicate that an injury or disease is destroying cells faster than the body can, or that the body is making too few of them.
White blood cells make up about 1% of all blood cells and are essential for the regular functioning of the immune system. White blood cells are also known as leukocytes.
The bone marrow continuously produces white blood cells. They are stored in the blood and lymphatic system until they are needed in the body to fight infection or disease.
High White Blood Cell Count In The Elderly: Learn Today!
Normally there are between 4,500 and 11,000 white blood cells per microliter of blood, although this number can vary by gender, age, and race.
When necessary, monocytes travel to other organs, such as the spleen, liver, lungs, and bone marrow, where they become cells called macrophages.
Macrophages are responsible for many functions, including removing dead or damaged tissue, destroying cancer cells, and regulating the immune response.
An increase in white blood cells is known as leukocytosis. It usually occurs in response to the following conditions:
Lymphoma: Symptoms, Causes And Treatment
Some respiratory diseases, such as whooping cough or tuberculosis, may cause an increase in the level of white blood cells.
In some cases, all white blood cells are affected. However, some people have a specific condition where only one type of white blood cell is affected.
If the level of a certain type of white blood cell is elevated, it may be due to a specific trigger:
In some cases, there is no identifiable reason for the increase in white blood cells. This is known as idiopathic hyperosinophilic syndrome. It can lead to serious complications such as damage to the heart, lungs, liver, skin and nervous system.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Low White Blood Cell Count?
The level of white blood cells increases significantly during a healthy pregnancy due to the physical stress that the body undergoes during this period. Levels begin to rise in the first trimester and continue to increase until the third trimester.
White blood cells per microliter of blood. This is in response to physical stress and trauma from childbirth.
If the level of white blood cells is lower than normal, it may be a sign of decreased immune activity.
A lack of white blood cells is because people with diseases or medications that suppress the immune system have an increased risk of infection.
Types Of White Blood Cells And Their Functions
These are caused when too many immature blood cells are produced, leading to an imbalance. Myeloproliferative disorders are rare conditions that may or may not be malignant.
The exact effects of an increased white blood cell count depend on the condition or factor causing them.
After symptoms are noticed, the doctor can use blood tests to evaluate the number of white blood cells, and further tests and examinations are often necessary to determine the exact cause of the problem.
A high white blood cell count may indicate several things, including that the immune system is fighting off an infection, a sign of physical or emotional stress, or certain types of cancer.
Low Blood Counts
Pregnancy also leads to an increase in the number of white blood cells, as the level increases from the first trimester to the third trimester. Due to the intense stress that the body endures, the level of white blood cells also increases in the hours after childbirth.
Meanwhile, a low white blood cell count can indicate that an injury or condition is causing the body to destroy cells faster. It can also mean that the body produces too few of them.
While symptoms depend on the cause of the elevated white blood cell count, fluctuations in the white blood cell count may cause no symptoms.
Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and uses only peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and societies. We avoid using third party references. We link to primary sources—including studies, scientific sources, and statistics—within each article, and we also list them in the References section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and up-to-date by reading our editorial policies. White blood cells play an important role in your immune system, searching the blood for invading viruses, bacteria, and fungi. When a foreign virus or bacteria enters your blood, white blood cells (known as leukocytes) recognize and destroy the invading particle before it causes disease. There are different types of white blood cells, each of which has its own function. Some directly kill foreign bacteria, while others attack your own cells that have been infected by viruses. Other types of white blood cells can even play a role in allergic reactions! What happens when your white blood cells increase? Because white blood cells fight infection, people tend to think that high levels are actually beneficial. Not necessarily so! A high white blood cell count is not a specific disease in itself, but can indicate an underlying problem such as infection, stress, inflammation, trauma, allergies, or certain diseases. This is why a high white blood cell count usually requires further investigation. The InsideTrackerblood analysis measures your white blood cell count and tells you if it’s in the optimal range for you. If your white blood cell count is elevated, you should talk to your doctor. In addition to your total white blood cell count, InsideTracker also measures different types of white blood cells, which can provide clues about factors that may be causing your white blood cell count to rise. The types of white blood cells are: neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils and basophils. Neutrophils, which make up about 70% of white blood cells, can increase in response to bacterial infections as well as physical or emotional stress. Lymphocyte counts may be high when there is a viral or bacterial infection. An increase in monocytes can indicate chronic inflammation. When there is an allergic response or in cases of parasitic infection, the level of basophils and eosinophils may increase. What are the symptoms of an increase in the number of white blood cells? The only way to determine if your levels are too high is to have your blood tested at your doctor’s office or through InsideTracker. People with high (higher than normal) white blood cell counts, a condition called leukocytosis, usually have no symptoms, but may have a medical condition that is responsible for the elevated white blood cell levels. The specific count for an elevated (higher than normal) white blood cell count varies from one laboratory to another, but a general rule of thumb is that a count of more than 10,500 leukocytes per microliter of blood in adults is considered normal. be high, while 4,500-10,500 is considered within the normal range. Because a high (higher than normal) white blood cell count can be a sign of another underlying problem, you may experience symptoms associated with that condition. However, people with leukocytosis may also experience a combination of these symptoms: fever, fainting, bleeding, bruising, weight loss, and general pain. What are the reasons for the increase in the number of white blood cells? There are several reasons why your white blood cell count may be high: Infection: When bacteria or viruses that cause an infection multiply in the blood, your bone marrow produces more white blood cells to fight the infection. Infection can also lead to inflammation, which in turn causes an increase in the number of white blood cells. Smoking or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – Basically, COPD means you have a lung and airway disease, such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis, that blocks proper airflow. This disease is usually caused by smoking, which leads to inflammation in the lungs and airways. As inflammation in the lungs and airways increases, your body produces more white blood cells to fight it. Leukemia: Leukemia is a type of cancer that dramatically increases the number of white blood cells. Leukemic white blood cells are often nonfunctional, which may increase the risk of infection in these cancer patients. Immune system disorders – Some autoimmune disorders, such as Crohn’s or Graves’ disease, can increase the level of white blood cells. If you have one of these conditions, your doctor should monitor your white blood cell levels. Stress – Finally, emotional or physical stress can also cause an increase in the white blood cell count. The good news is that after the stress is gone, white blood cell levels return to normal. How does exercise affect your white blood cell count? If you get your blood tested immediately after a workout, you may not be worried—your body actually increases the number of white blood cells during exercise! in fact,
High White Blood Cell Count? What You Should Know
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