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Life after a Brain Tumor; my worries go on!
Aug 13, 2001

About 12 years ago, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The tumor has remained stable, and hasn't requiried any medical intervention...yet. Following that "great news," I had a "high risk" exposure about 10 years ago. I have since tested negative numerous times for HIV-1 and 2. However, I've noticed my total lymph # decrease over the past five years: 1997 (2.4); 1999 (1.8); 2000 (1.5); 2001 (1.2).

I realize the normal # range is 0.7 to 5.2, but I'm getting really concerned. My total WBC has been within limits 7.5 to 9.2. Lastly, I had a CD4 count during Aug00, and it showed a CD4 count of over 1000, with a total lymph count of over 2000 in a range of 850 to 4000+. I'm still within limits, but should I be concerned? Would you recommend further tests?

Response from Dr. Dezube

It is NOT uncommon to have persistent concerns after the diagnosis of cancer. It goes with the territory. That said, your numbers are NOT the least bit concerning. Your CD4 count is rock solid, your HIV tests are negative, and your counts are within the normal range. I'm not even sure why you are having these blood tests. I am presuming that you are getting checked for the brain tumor from time to time; other than that, nothing much needs to be done. If you are having a lot of anxiety, there are support groups for cancer survivors. Never underestimate the anxiety and fear which can accompany cancer survivorship. These feelings unfortunately are often minimized by friends and family, who just don't get it. Good luck. BD.


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