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So, when we say counts are low, cancer parents automatically get it. Doctors get it. Nurses get it. So I am attempting to provide the basics of the terminology.
First things first. Chemo drugs attack fast dividing cells like cancer cells. So, what other cells in the body are fast dividing? Hair cells, mucosal cells, all forms of blood cells. Chemo drugs also attack these cells as well, which cause hair loss, mouth sores and ulcers and depress the immune system.
Everything is very serious and the mucosal cell suppression cause mouth sores which make it hard to eat and may cause ulcers through out the GI system. Loss of hair often affects self esteem. Loss of all types of blood cells lead to anemia, and more scarily leaves the body open to infections that it would normally be able to fight off without even noticing.
White Blood Cells
A type of immune cell. Most white blood cells are made in the bone marrow and are found in the blood and lymph tissue. White blood cells help the body fight infections and other diseases. Granulocytes, monocytes, and lymphocytes are white blood cells.
A type of immune [cell] that is one of the first cell types to travel to the site of an infection. Neutrophils help fight infection by ingesting microorganismsand releasing enzymes that kill the microorganisms. A neutrophil is a type of white blood cell , a type of granulocyte , and a type of phagocyte .
PubMed Health Glossary
/(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)/ When neutrophils go low, the patient is at a very high risk for infection. It is one of the most watched cells in oncology. It is also a form of White Blood Cells