Higher end of normal blood platelet count could indicate high risk of cancer

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Exeter (England): Blood platelet counts on the upper end of normal counsel a high risk of cancer in males elderly 60 or over, and must be investigated, in line with new University of Exeter analysis. 

Platelets carry out a the most important serve as in blood, together with serving to blood to clot, which is helping us heal wounds. However, Exeter researchers have up to now discovered that cancer risk is considerably raised through having an abnormally high blood platelet count (greater than 400 x 109/l,) a situation referred to as thrombocytosis. 

Now, they’ve discovered that instances of cancer a great deal larger in older men with a platelet count at the high end of the normal vary (326 to 400 x 109/l), indicating that those sufferers must be investigated for cancer.

In a learn about funded through NIHR and revealed within the British Journal of General Practice, researchers reviewed the information of just about 300,000 sufferers who had platelet counts at the upper end-user information from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink and the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. 

They discovered that the quantity of those sufferers identified with cancer a yr later was once considerably upper if the sufferers had even rather raised platelet ranges. Of 68,181 male sufferers with ranges of blood platelet at the upper end of normal, 1,869 instances of cancer have been identified inside of 365 days. 

Of those, 720 have been a complicated level. A better platelet count was once maximum often connected to lung and colorectal cancers – each competitive bureaucracy of cancer.

Dr Sarah Bailey, Senior Research Fellow on the University of Exeter Medical School who led the analysis, mentioned: “After finding that having a blood platelet count above normal range put people at high risk of cancer, we investigated the risk at the high end of normal. We found that men aged over 60 whose platelet count is on the higher end of a normal are more likely to have underlying cancer. Updating guidance for GPs to investigate higher platelet counts could save lives. This is particularly important in a post-COVID era; clues to help GPs identify cancer earlier are crucial to targeting the backlog in cancer investigation and diagnosis.”

Professor Willie Hamilton, of the University of Exeter Medical School, mentioned: “The UK lags well behind other developed countries on early cancer diagnosis. Our findings on platelet count and a cancer diagnosis can help to combat that lag. It is now crucial that we roll out cancer investigation of thrombocytosis. It could save hundreds of lives.” 

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