About Lymphoma | Advocacy | Art | CAM | Clinical trials | Doctors - Experts - Centers | Guidelines at Diagnosis | News
Risk Factors | Side Effects | Statistics | Support | Symptoms | Tests | Treatments | Types of Lymphoma

Search Site         Guidelines at Diagnosis | About Clinical Trials            How to Help!

Patients Against Lymphoma

 

Neutropenia (low white count)

Last update: 10/23/2013

TOPICS
 

Low White Count (Neutropenia) | Resources | Research News |
Also see Infections and Neutropenia
and Low Blood Counts

In the News

bullet
Br J Cancer. 2009 September:
Prevention of febrile neutropenia: use of prophylactic antibiotics
bullet
Support Care Cancer. 2010 May: Prophylaxis of chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia with granulocyte colony-stimulating factors: where are we now?
bullet Medscape: Late Onset Neutropenia (LON) following Rituxan therapy - incidence, risk factors, and possible mechanisms medscape.com 

"... the median onset of LON after discontinuation of rituximab treatment varies between 56 and 175 days, with a median duration of neutropenia from 6 to 77 days,[714] whereas the median duration of treatment before onset of neutropenia in other drug-induced neutropenias ranged from 2 days to 2 months and normalization of neutrophil count occurred after 424 days.

Overview

Neutropenia is the lowering of the white blood cells that fight infections. This condition is an expected complication of chemotherapy, which often impairs bone marrow cells that produce specialized blood cells. This condition is most severe in patients who receive aggressive treatments.  Neutropenia may also be caused by autoimmune conditions.

"Neutropenia is usually characterized by a reduced number of blood neutrophils, although a reduced number of lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, or basophils may also contribute to the decreased total cell count. Neutropenia accompanied by monocytopenia and lymphocytopenia is often a more serious disorder than neutropenia alone."  Merck Manual


 
White Blood Cells ~ click to enlarge

Important:

"Neutropenia you might not even feel.  You might not even know that you have a low white count unless, of course, we draw your blood and call you on the telephone. ... But from a life-threatening point of view, we want to prevent you from having an infection. That's why we really want to educate you about what to do during times of low white blood counts."


- Paula Anastasia, RN, MN, AOCN - Oncology Nurse Educator.


Tips for preventing problems associated with low white count:

bullet

Avoid people and places that will expose you to illness or bacteria - such as public places.
 

bullet

Wash your hands often.

Keep your unwashed hands away from ALL mucous membranes, especially the nose, eyes, and mouth. You are more likely to catch a cold through your nose than your mouth because saliva contains a lot of bacteria-killing enzymes.
 

bullet

Clean often. 

One thing that I do that surprises a lot of people is "lysoling" the phone and the steering wheel of your car. Lots of germs there. Plenty of rest, juice, washing hands at appropriate times, etc. I also carry antibiotic hand wash but I don't use it too often - it's not supposed to be that good for you but in emergencies when I have been out (subway, etc) and can't wash hand, I'll use it. -Ronnie in CT
 

bullet

See Diet for Immunosuppressed Patients
Patients receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy may have compromised immunity.
 

bullet

Do not purchase products older than the pull date. Read labels.
 

bullet

Store and handle properly foods to avoid food-related infections and illness. 
 

bullet

Avoid moldy, spoiled and outdated food products.
 

bullet

Replace dish and face towels after each use.
 

bullet

Thoroughly wash produce; cooking fruits and vegetables is best. Use vinegar to clean vegetables, and/or mild soap.
 

bullet

Beware of foods that have been "double-dipped."
 

bullet

Ask your doctor about Neupogen for treatment of prevention of low white counts.

See biologics 

Also see: Chemotherapy treatment support
bullet
Avoiding Trouble - general | Avoiding Infections  
Diet for Immune Suppressed
|
Fight nausea  
Fight Constipation | Oral HealthWhen to call your doctor


Resources

bullet
Managing Neutropenia - Topic Search:  Scholar | PubMed
bullet
Br J Cancer. 2009 September:
Prevention of febrile neutropenia: use of prophylactic antibiotics
bullet
NEW: Arthritis Res Ther. 2005: Primary and secondary autoimmune neutropenia
bullet
Support Care Cancer. 2010 May: Prophylaxis of chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia with granulocyte colony-stimulating factors: where are we now?
bullet
Chemotherapy treatment support
bullet
Avoiding Trouble - general | Avoiding Infections 
Diet for Immune Suppressed
|
Oral HealthWhen to call your doctor
bullet
Drug info - see: Biologics for treatment of Neutropenia 
bullet
Fungal Infection See PAL
Return to top
Neutropenia
Quick Reference

(Low White Count)

Makes you susceptible to infection: fungal, viral, bacterial

Total white cells:
4-11(x109/l)

Neutrophils:
2-8 (x106/l)

Normal range may vary for different labs

Return to top

 

 

Research News

bullet
Levofloxacin Prevents Infection in Neutropenic Cancer Patients  cancerpage.com
bullet
Treatment of Opportunistic Infections related to Cancer and Cancer therapies  TOPIC SEARCH
bullet
Epidemiology and Management of Opportunistic Infections in Immunocompromised Patients With Cancer   http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/512280


 
 
Disclaimer:  The information on Lymphomation.org is not intended to be a substitute for 
professional medical advice or to replace your relationship with a physician.
For all medical concerns,  you should always consult your doctor. 
Patients Against Lymphoma, Copyright 2004,  All Rights Reserved.