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A complete blood count (CBC) is a blood test that measures the number and quality of red blood cellsred blood cellsA type of blood cell that carries oxygen to and carbon dioxide from tissues in the body. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin (a protein that carries oxygen and gives blood its red colour) and are made in the bone marrow. (RBCs or erythrocytes), white blood cellswhite blood cellsA type of blood cell that helps the body fight infection and diseases. (WBCs or leukocytes) and plateletsplateletsA type of blood cell that helps blood to clot. Platelets are made in the bone marrow. (thrombocytes).
A CBC includes the following information:
A CBC may be done to:
A CBC test is usually done in a private laboratory or hospital laboratory. No special preparation is usually needed.
Potential side effects of having a CBC include:
Normal ranges may vary from person to person and laboratory to laboratory. Many factors can affect CBC results. An abnormal result will not necessarily identify the problem, so further investigation may be needed.
|Term||What it means|
a reduction in the number of RBCs or hemoglobin content of RBCs
a reduction in the number of WBCs
an increase in the number of WBCs
a decrease in the number of neutrophils
a decrease in the number of platelets
an increase in the number of platelets
|Component||An increased value may be due to||A decreased value may be due to|
Note: Not all factors or conditions that can increase or decrease blood counts are listed above. Only the main cancer-related ones have been included.
The doctor will decide if more tests, procedures, follow-up care or treatment are needed. Sometimes therapies or doses may need to be adjusted to avoid complications if blood cell counts are low.
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