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BCR-ABL results inconclusive


I wonder if anyone can relate to my situation at the moment. I have had a high WCC for at least the past five years, I recently got referred back to Haematology to discuss my blood results. The consultant made the decision to do lost of different blood tests, a few results came back normal and when I was followed up in clinic she stated that we were still waiting for the BCR-ABL results however, she was confident they would be normal and told me she would contact me if not. These blood samples were sent to the lab many months ago and last Saturday I had a letter from the consultant saying unfortunately the results were 'equivocal'. She wants to repeat them again and has requested the BCR-ABL and FISH cytogenetics, she will mark these samples as urgent. 

I wanted to see if anyone had their first blood results come back inconclusive or 'equivocal'? 

I am getting rather concerned about this now and went to my GP this morning to seek reassurance which backfired as he seemed excited about this and said it was very interesting, he also told me if you have a cancer this is the best one to have as it's very much treatable. Definitely not something I wanted to hear after worrying all weekend. 

Any advice would be really appreciated. 


Hi Rachel, its a little tricky to know where to start on this, but a few thoughts. What level is your high WBC? If it is high and stable my understanding would be that CML is unlikely - most of the examples on here have people's WBC increasing very significantly in a matter of a few weeks or months while they are being investigated and diagnosed. I suspect that test results need redone due to the delay in the initial tests -  I believe there are good reasons why the major centres are very particular about how quickly samples get to them. Try not to worry too much, and I hope you can get the tests re-done promptly. Please do let us know what happens.

Yes it is an odd one really. My WBC varies with no apparent reason for change, varies from 14 up to around 23 with no obvious infection. In addition to this I have high inflammatory markers such as ESR and CRP. A scan showed my spleen is also enlarged, joint pain in particular my hip. A rheumatologist treated me with methotrexate when it was not indicated and now believe it is a haematology issue. Hoping the repeat tests come back negative and they are just being cautious. 

Thanks for your reply! 


Hi Rachel. Most CML cases I've been aware of show an increase in WBC very quickly. MY WBC had been very low (around 2) for more than 15 years pre diagnosis. I moved home, changed doctors and the new GP wanted a baseline and it was 9, which is in the normal range but was not normal for me. They re-did it a week later and it was 20. By the time I saw the Haematologist three weeks after that it was 80. I did not have any symptoms, and I guess I was lucky I moved when I did.

I have seen people on here talk about WBC levels in the tens of thousands at diagnosis.

Hi, yes I guess how people work it out. Per microliter mine at the moment works out at 24,000. Planning on seeing the haematologist and then hope my results don't take too long now. Thanks for replying.