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HomeAnswersHematologywhite blood cellsDo high WBC, neutrophils and immature granulocytes likely to be leukemia?

Can high white blood cells just reveal iron deficiency?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Vinodhini J.

Published At March 23, 2020
Reviewed AtDecember 28, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I recently was referred to an oncologist/hematologist after having two rounds of blood tests, both showing a high white cell count (as well as a few other abnormalities). I saw the oncologist/hematologist who ran additional tests. I see a multitude of abnormalities, however, she told me I am just iron deficient. My concern is when I saw her she literally gave me less than three minutes of her time because she was in a hurry, she basically picked up her back and ran out. I am worried she missed something and I did not get the opportunity to ask questions.

I am currently on Ventolin asthma inhaler, Vitamin D, and Daily iron tablet.


Welcome to the icliniq.com.

Following is my opinion about your asked question.

Your two rounds of CBC (attachment removed to protect patient identity), showing high total WBC (white blood cells) count and high neutrophils. Immature granulocytes are elevated slightly. The inflammation, infection, excess stress, etc like causes might be responsible for that.

In the second CBC (complete blood count), count decrease and neutrophils also reduced in number. Hence it does not look like leukemia or blood cancer. Immature granulocyte can be increased slightly in any inflammation. Your count and differential count are not to the level suggestive of leukemia. So it does not seem to be blood cancer as per my opinion.

Kindly repeat CBC with peripheral smear examination after a few days. The value will fall within range after a few days.

I hope this helps.

Patient's Query

Thank you doctor,

Is it a concern that my cell counts have remained abnormal for over six weeks? If it is inflammation, for example, what should we be doing to identify the cause?


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Following is my further opinion about your asked question.

It is a matter of concern and you should remain alert about that but no need to worry about blood cancer. Your count in six weeks has been decreased. So I suggest that blood cancer seems very unlikely.

Sometimes infection count can remain high for six to eight weeks. Your physical examination should be done and if needed investigation can be planned accordingly. If you have any symptoms then mention it to guide you further. If there is no symptoms then you might need not worry.

Your platelet could be high due to inflammation as it can cause the release of IL 6 (interleukin-6) and so platelet can be high secondarily.

I hope this helps.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Goswami Parth Rajendragiri
Dr. Goswami Parth Rajendragiri


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