Low Blood Counts Information Center

A reduced number of blood cells in circulation is a common side effect of chemotherapy. Blood is composed of three basic blood cell types: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Blood cells are produced in the bone marrow and regularly released into circulation. Chemotherapy destroys rapidly dividing cells, a characteristic of cancer cells. However, bone marrow cells also divide rapidly and are frequently damaged by chemotherapy. The best way to treat low blood counts is to prevent them before they occur. This can be accomplished with the administration of blood cell growth factors. In some circumstances, blood transfusions may also be necessary.

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