What Happens to White Blood Cells During Cancer Treatment? Mariah Ulrich

What are white blood cells?

White blood cells (WBCs), often referred to as leukocytes are cells found in the blood stream that assist the body's immune system. These cells are formed in the bone marrow. there are five separate types of these cells: nuetrophils, eosinophils, basophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes. Leukocytes are most commonly used as an indicator of illness.

What is Cancer?

What we know as cancer is actually just a bunch of cells that develop a mutation during mitosis, the process cells go through in order to multiply, and spread recklessly. Cancer can happen to anyone in any part of the body, although certain activities such as smoking can increase your risk of developing.

How do you treat cancer?

There are many treatments for cancer including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is the use of specific drugs to target quickly growing cells within the body. Many treatments come along with terrible side effects such as pain, hair loss, nausea, and becoming immune deficient.

How does chemotherapy effect white blood cells?

Since white blood cells grow quickly, chemotherapy often attacks them along with the cancer cells. This causes many WBCs to die and in turn to weaken your immune system. This is why so many cancer patients are so susceptible to illness.

Credits:

Created with images by NIAID - "Hospital-Associated Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Bacteria" • fotosinteresantes - "Células cancerígenas de cáncer de cuello" • PracticalCures - "Chemotherapy" • skeeze - "bacteria electron microscope stained"

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