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Low Platelets and Break Time


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Hello everyone~

I've been away because our life has become somewhat more complicated lately with trips to Moffitt for 2nd opinions and new scans. The good news is that Moffitt tells us it appears the tumor has shrunk approx. 20%! the bad news is that, he tells us, it's not going to "go away".... We must pray for a 40-50% reduction at best. The tumor in Bob's chest is quite large. And the chemo hasn't even touched the spots on his liver...

But today when he went for his blood test he was denied his treatment because of poor platelet counts! Is this a typical thing, poor platelets??? Is there anything I can do to "make it better" -- eat more beef, drink Noni juice??? [smile]. The doctor told Bob to take a small break in treatment and come back next week; that after 13 weeks straight of chemo he's doing well....

I don't know anything about low platelets so if there is anyone with experience in this area I would be interested in hearing what happened for you and how long it took to resume. Is it merely REST that brings up the platelets?

Thanks -



Husband diagnosed 12/03 w/Stage 4 SCLC; Moffitt changed staging to Stage 4 High Grade Neuroendocrine carcinoma with mets to the bones, liver.

13 rounds of carbo/taxol

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Beth, yes it is normal for blood components to be low during chemo. They are fast growing areas like your hair or nails, so the chemo attacks them as well. The degree varies with the patient. I don't know what to advise you on the platelets. Lucie had low white counts and low red counts as times. Hang in there. Don

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I have not gotten my Carbo for the last 2 times due to low platelets. My other counts are doing ok but we will have to see what happens this week with plateletts. I have noticed more "bleeding" problems so I think they may have to give me a platelett transfusion this week. I have only had to have one in the past and that only took an hour or so. If yours don't come back up next week ask about a transfussion. Shrinkage of the origianl tumor is a wonderful thing. Maybe they will have to try something else for the liver? What is he taking now? I am on a Carbo / Taxol mix but have only had 1 round of Carbo and 4 rounds of Taxol.

Best wishes and God Bless,


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Hi Beth,

I too had low platelet counts from my first two treatments in the very beginning. They dropped below 20,000 each time. Don’t remember the exact count. Both times I did get transfusions and they went back to normal. They also adjusted my chemo, which resolved that problem and that did not happen again. Was told if platelet count goes below 100,00 cannot receive chemo. This does happen when getting chemo, which also can affect red and white cells. Like Mo says takes about an hour or so. I usually can tell if my platelets are low by, my gums bleed when brushing my teeth, I bleed easy when shaving, canker sores inside my mouth and depending how low, red dots on my skin. They also caution about not shaving when platelets are low and to be careful about cuts etc. Hope this helps. Peace, take care and God Bless.


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