Low White Blood Cell Count

The fundamental obligation of the white platelets is to help the body battle disease. In a sound grown-up, the ordinary white platelet count ranges somewhere in the range of 5000 and 10000. If the count goes down below 1000 cells, the person is more likely to be affected by external infections. In certain cases, the child will be given medicine to increase the count of the cells in the bone marrow. 

There are different kinds of platelets in the body and every cell has its capability. The ‘differential’ is what shows the breakdown of the various white blood cells in the blood of your child. 

Neutrophils are those that aid in fighting bacterial infections. Lymphocytes produce antibodies that help fight infection by killing and removing bacteria. The basophils and eosinophils respond during an allergic reaction

ANC is the Absolute Neutrophil Count in your youngster’s blood. It is most commonly referred to as an ANC count or as the infection-fighting count. The lower the levels of ANC the higher is the child prone to the risk of infection.

What are the signs of infection

The risk of infection may sometimes not be portrayed outwardly but it is always important to be aware of your child’s timing of low white blood cell count, especially after chemotherapy. Every time your child receives chemotherapy, make sure you talk to a nurse about the timing of the low counts.

Some of the most common signs of infection are as follows,

  • Pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills

If your child is on a central venous access device, look around the device for signs of redness, pain or swelling, or pus in the site. A youngster with a low ANC level probably won’t have been discharging, yet is still liable to have contamination.

Low White Blood Cell Counts (Neutropenia)

Brought down insusceptibility levels are also called immunosuppression and they can be caused because of illnesses like cancer or because of specific therapies including chemotherapy and radiation treatment. These two kinds of treatment increase the youngster’s immunosuppression extraordinarily. Though typically named as having a low white platelets count, different terms are utilized reciprocally as well.

What is Neutropenia?

At the point when there is a lower than an ordinary number of neutrophils in the kid’s blood, it is named neutropenia. The major component of the immune system is the white blood cells and there are two types of them. Both play a key role in defending the body against invading germs. 

  • Neutrophils
  • Monocytes
  • Lymphocytes (which include T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes)
  • Macrophages


The key infection fighters are neutrophils and are highly important to defend the body against the most infectious types of germs. Most of the white blood cells in the human body are neutrophils, however in cancer patients, due to the destruction of those cells, there is a lesser number of neutrophils in the body which leads to neutropenia. Therefore, an analysis of how vulnerable you are to infection is determined by taking the count of neutrophils into account. 

Patients having cancer have a more serious gamble of getting serious contaminations and conditions. You can talk to your doctor about the best methods that can be employed to boost your neutrophil count. 

Monocytes and macrophages

These are the cells responsible for recognizing the invaders coming into the body. They play a major role in helping the lymphocytes to recognize the germs. The proteins that are made by the B-lymphocytes, can surround and digest the germs that are caused by antibodies. There is the body’s fight against fungi, bacteria, and parasites. 


Their job is to check, signal and obliterate the microorganisms. The deficiency of lymphocytes is many times given during a bone marrow relocation when this lack happens. However the B and T lymphocytes likewise help to battle infections, their jobs are not something similar.

The unique proteins that are made by the B-Lymphocytes are called antibodies that assist to perceive and kill the microbe. The microbes that are obliterated by the different cells are likewise stamped.

On account of T-lymphocytes, flagging substances called cytokines are delivered that guide different cells. The germs that are destroyed by the other cells are also marked.

In the case of T-lymphocytes, signaling substances called cytokines are produced that tell the other cells what to do. Destruction of the cells infected by the virus is also performed by them. 

Absolute neutrophil count (ANC)

The term ANC or absolute neutrophil count is a common term that cancer patients hear during their entire course of treatment. 

Indeed, this is only the assurance of the number of neutrophils in your blood. Your medical services group will find out how effective is the working of your invulnerable framework during therapy by utilizing your ANC. To do such, a blood test called the total blood count (CBC) will be taken where the white platelets are estimated completely. This count that is obtained from the white blood cells is what helps your healthcare team understand the efficiency of your immense system, whether the treatments administered agave weakened it and how well it works to protect you from infections. 

With the decrease n, the count of the ANC, common symptoms such as fever, pain, pus, swelling, and redness occur. Sometimes these may show up immediately after the infection starts but intensifies gradually and is visible only in quite severe conditions. These signs are due to the nativity of the neutrophils working to fight against the invading germs so if there are a necessary amount of neutrophils the signs might not be visible. That is the reason why the detection of infection can be hard.  Notwithstanding these neutrophils, one more kind of WBC known as the monocytes can cause indications of contamination in an individual having neutropenia. Sometimes the only signs of infection in a person having neutropenia will be a fever.  The lower the ANC count and the more it remains low, the higher the gamble of getting a serious disease. 

Ask your doctor whether the cancer treatment procedures can lower your neutrophil count. The healthcare team assigned to your child will help you manage your ANC and also provide in-depth information about it. 

What causes Neutropenia

  • Certain types of chemotherapy
  • Steroids
  • Bone marrow or stem cell transplant  
  • Radiation therapy

Symptoms of neutropenia

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Mouth sores
  • Cough
  • Abdominal or rectal pain
  • Fever
  • Chills

What are the problems that might arise due to Neutropenia:

  • High vulnerability to infections
  • For those having a solid invulnerable framework, the indications of contaminants that incorporate fever, torment, discharge, and expansion are taken note of. But with the decrease in ANC, the signs may not be as visible as they should be. However, these are caused because of the neutrophils warding off microorganisms consequently there is not an adequate measure of neutrophils to give the indications.
  • With these signs, your healthcare team will slow down the treatment or reduce the dosage of the medications administered to prevent further neutropenia. 

How to treat Neutropenia:

Treatment of neutropenia should be possible by using one or a blend of the accompanying.

  • Administration of antibiotics to prevent infection
  • Myeloid development factors: the proteins that invigorate the creation of white platelets to assist the body with battling disease are called so. These are additionally known by the name development variables or province animating elements. Commonly prescribed drugs to stimulate growth factors are  to-filgrastim (Granix), pegfilgrastim (Neulasta), and  filgrastim (Neupogen)
  • The cancer treatment will be postponed so the body has time to9 recuperate from ANC and produce more white platelets.

In case of any doubts and clarifications, talk to your cancer team about the signs and symptoms that you should be on the lookout for. Inform your doctor immediately if you have a fever or any other symptoms of neutropenia. 

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