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Old Wed Sep 25, 2013, 11:21 PM
BrendaB BrendaB is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2
How Worried Should I Be?

I am 51 years old and female. I have been on medicine for my blood pressure for a few years now, and when I went in for my annual appointment to have my prescription renewed, the CBC they ran indicated that my platelets were at 47,000. I immediately freaked out and started reading everything I could find on the net about thrombocytopenia. I ran across a few articles about pseudothrombocytopenia, so I asked my general practitioner to send me to a different lab to have the test redone. The second time, my platelets came back at 57,000. I do not have copies of the results themselves, but my general practitioner assured me that everything else is within the normal ranges. I have an appointment to see a hematologist on October 2, and I am wondering how worried I should be. What are the odds that this is something terminal? I have to admit that going to anything with the word "cancer" in the title is terrifying to me. (I have a phobia of anything medical, especially doctors, which isn't helping.)
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Old Thu Sep 26, 2013, 12:05 AM
Neil Cuadra Neil Cuadra is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,502

Without more information it won't be clear whether your low platelet count is a temporary and minor problem or a condition that requires treatment. Some doctors may not consider a count of 57,000 to be thrombocytopenia, but it is lower than normal. If your bone marrow isn't functioning then these forums are full of people ready to offer advice, but chances are that's not the diagnosis you'll get. From infections to vitamin deficiencies, there are many possible causes that can be dealt with, and no reason to jump to pessimistic conclusions.

Are you in generally good health? That's always a plus. Do you know if your parents ever had similar low counts? If you or your doctor have copies of lab tests from your previous checkups, that could show if you've always tended to have low platelets. Some people have naturally low counts and live fine that way.

I tend to be optimistic in the face of the unknown, and I hope you can be too. Until you know what's going on, guessing or predicting serves little purpose, and I think worrying serves little purpose too. But to be frank, I find that whether people assume the best or assume the worst is mostly a matter of personality.

Given that you're uncomfortable around doctors, I'm sorry that other tests may be needed, but that's how you'll get the answers you need. I hope that you'll soon have the explanation for your lower-than-normal platelet count, know what if anything to do about it, and get back your peace of mind.
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Old Thu Sep 26, 2013, 08:52 AM
Relentless Against SAA Relentless Against SAA is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 77
I certainly understand your concern. I have a friend who had a low platelet count when she was young. Her level got down to 7,500. They did a BM bx and she was dx with ITP. Because her platelets were so low they gave her a transfusions of platelets. Then she was started on steroids. Her counts stayed up from the time of the first transfusion and to this day she has had no further problems.

A hematoligist just told me last week that low platelet counts are easy to treat with excellent results. Newer meds are on the market that are having great results. I guess what I am trying to say is that even if your platelets continue to drop this tends to be very easy to treat.

I hope this gives you some comfort and I wish you the best.
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Old Thu Oct 3, 2013, 11:36 PM
BrendaB BrendaB is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2
You Were Right.

I went to the appointment with my hematologist yesterday, and one of the first things she told me is that my platelet count is high enough that it is not considered dangerous. She looked at them under a microscope and said that judging by the size and condition of them, my marrow is fine, but I probably have some kind of immune disorder. (ITP) She ordered more blood work and an ultrasound of my spleen, but she said my condition is considered benign, and I will probably just have to be monitored. Thank you for the support and encouragement you have given me.
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