Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Complete blood count

A common laboratory test used to measure blood counts (or the number of blood cells circulating in the bloodstream). A complete blood count (CBC) measures the level of red blood cells (which carry oxygen throughout the body), white blood cells (which fight infection) and platelets (which help with blood clotting) in a blood sample. A CBC also measures hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen) and hematocrit (the ratio of red blood cells to plasma).

A complete blood count can be used to detect a variety of conditions, including leukemia, anemia, infection and more. Since treatments for cancer can temporarily lower blood counts, a physician will closely monitor blood counts during treatment.

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