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Definition of White Blood Cells (WBCs)

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Updated October 14, 2012

Definition of White Blood Cells (WBCs) A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia
Definition:

White blood cells (WBCs)are a part of the immune system that helps fight infection and defend the body against other foreign materials.

There are several different types of white blood cells, including lymphocytes, granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils), and monocytes.

With lung cancer, chemotherapy can decrease the number of white blood cells produced by the bone marrow and increase the risk of an infection. Oncologists order a complete blood count (CBC) before and after chemotherapy to check on the number of WBCs.

Also Known As: leukocytes
Examples:
After his chemotherapy treatment, John was told that his white blood cell count was low and that he should try stay away from people that are sick for a few days to reduce his risk of infection.

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