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Red blood cell and platelet count was low. Have moderate pain in ribcage. what could be the reason for having pain?

Apr 2013
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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 9331 Questions
I had my blood tested in our benzene exposer program at work and my red blood cell count and my platelet count were both low. I am 51 years old and have worked in the Petrochemicals business since I was 18. This test is an annual test and it has come back this way the last 2 times. What does that mean? And what should I be concerned about? I have also been having moderate pain in my right rib cage for about two months for no apparent reason .
Posted Thu, 21 Nov 2013 in Blood Disorders
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Hi and welcome to XXXXXXX Detailed Answer: Thanks for the query. It depends is it significant fall or just slight one. If there is more than 20% under the normal value then it may indicate something and you need further hematological tests(bone marrow analysis) to rule out some serious blood diseases. We are always afraid of aplastic anaemia in patients exposed to benzene and these findings that you ve mentioned can be the beginning of it. At this point,you dont have to be concerned,but repeat blood tests in 3-4 weeks and do this hematologic test I ve mentioned. Benzene exposure increases risk of other cancers,not just aplastic anameia,but I am sure that you already know this. Considering this you need more frequent end more detailed medical examinations. Pain in right rib can be caused by various lung and liver disorders but most commonly this is neuromusucular pain due to pulled muscle or pinched nerve. Since it lasts for so long,I suggest to do liver ultrasound and check liver enzyme levels. If this is fine then you dont have to be worried. WIsh you god health. Feel free to ask. Regards
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