How long after radiation do low white and red blood cell counts rise?

Bksmith22 asked...

I had radiation treatment over three years ago and I still have low white and red blood cell counts. When will it get back to normal?

Expert Answer

Linda Ackerman, R.N. has clinical experience in oncology, women's health, and medical nursing. She has been practicing for more than 20 years and is a licensed registered nurse in both Florida and Wisconsin. In addition, she serves as a board member of Breast Cancer Recovery and the Wisconsin Cancer Council.

Each of us is unique in responding to any type of medical treatment. Many factors could influence your ability to regain a normal white and red blood count. I would recommend an appointment with a physician who specialist within the practice of oncology, such as a medical oncologist, a hematologist and or a radiation specialist. I encourage you to review your previous medical diagnosis and treatment, your current medical health status including your diet, medications and any current stress factors that could be occurring within your life. All or some of these items can influence red and white blood count production for any one.

Many factors could influence and extended periods of low blood counts. I have listed a few items that you may find helpful when talking to a physician.

"¢ Type of cancer you were treated for, some cancers are more associated with influencing blood counts than others.

"¢ The duration and location of where your radiation treatment occurred- for example some of your bones in the pelvis area have more marrow and higher blood cell generating capability.

"¢ Previous history of low red /white blood counts prior to any radiation treatment.

"¢ Current diet intake, including vitamins, herbal supplements and any medications you are taking.

"¢ Any previous type of intestinal, stomach surgeries that could decrease absorption of nutrients.

I hope you find this information helpful.