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Hi yaro:

A high white count by itself is not enough to tell whether you have cancer. Usually a special white blood cell differential test is done to determine whether the problem is leukemia, lymphoma, some other cancer or a non-cancerous blood disorder.

This test can take over a week to do in a lab because for example, in leukemia, the white blood cells have to be watched to see whether they mature properly. What the lab technician does with your white blood sample is actually count the number of white cells and record how many cells are at different stages of maturity. This observation, counting and recording goes on for a few days. It's important to have such detailed information because it helps determine the sub-type of the disease and therefore which therapy would be best.

If you need technical information about different leukemias and bone cancers, the National Cancer Institute has the most up-to-date and reliable information.

Good luck,

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