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Diagnosed with bacterial infection after having fever and ear ache. Blood work done. Could it be cancer?

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Practicing since : 2002
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I had a fever and ear ache last week and was seen at my doctors, which is a walk in clinic. A cbc was completed and I was told I had a bacterial infection. Cbc showed platelet count of 90,000, and Mpv of 13. Wbc were just higher then normal range. Metabolic panel showed slightly low phospurus levels. My doctor looked back at a cbc completed in 2010, wbc and rbc normal, platelets at 82,000 and MPV was 15. I have no issues with excessive bleeding or bruising, I am seeing a hemotologist next week, but would like some ideas as I am worried about things like cancer.
Posted Mon, 6 Aug 2012 in Blood Disorders
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 49 minutes later
Hello and thank you for sending your question.

Your question is a very good one and I will work on providing you with some information and recommendations regarding what is going on.

From the information which you have submitted it appears that your platelet count has been low for the last two laboratory tests which have been drawn. the remainder of the blood cells appear to be normal. This includes your white blood cells and red blood cells.

There is a particular disorder which might explain why your platelet count is low. This disorder is called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura or ITP. This is caused by circulating antibodies in the body which caused the platelet count to drop. It is not known exactly what causes this phenomenon. Most of the time this can be followed over a long term. Sometimes the platelet count will recover. Sometimes it becomes necessary to give medication to help boost the platelet count or to help lower the immune reaction which causes the low platelet count.

In addition there are some other things which could cause a low platelet count. This includes certain medications.

Also one of the most common causes of low platelet count is excess alcohol consumption. If you drink a significant amount of alcohol you should discontinue this as soon as possible.

The hematologist will look at your blood count as well as previous blood tests which have been performed. He will also look at your blood under the microscope. The hematologist may also request additional blood tests to see if your immune system is causing your platelet count to be low.

I thank you again for sending your question. I hope you found my response to be helpful and informative. If you have additional concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Robert
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