The Use of a White Cell Booster During Chemo
When a person receives a cancer diagnosis, the next step is the discussion of potential treatment options. There are a variety of treatment options out there that vary significantly based on the type and location of the cancer cells. A white blood cell booster during chemo has become an option.
One potential option for cancer treatment is white blood cells regrowth factor or colony-stimulating factors (CSFs). Essentially, this treatment works in conjunction with chemotherapy, and its job is to lower the risk of infection during chemotherapy treatments. While chemotherapy can help eradicate cancer cells, it can also lower the immune system and make the patient very ill. White blood cell boosters during chemo increases the number of white blood cells and help the patient avoid additional illnesses as they receive the treatments they desperately need.
Understanding White Blood Cells
In order to appreciate white blood cell boosters, the patient must first understand the importance of white blood cells in the body. The human body is comprised of both white and red blood cells, which are found in the bone marrow. White blood cells help protect the body and fight infection. When white blood cells are at a lower counter, then the body is more susceptible to infection and illness.
Signs of Low White Blood Cell Count
Typically, there are no symptoms associated with low white blood cell count, unless it becomes incredibly low or if you develop an infection. Patients who are undergoing chemotherapy treatments should have their white blood cell count monitored in order to identify when the count is reaching an unhealthy level. Not all types of chemotherapy impact white blood cell count in the same way, so your doctor will identify the best plan of action for testing and prescribing CSFs.
Who Should Have CSFs?
CSFs are usually a treatment option when the individual is at a higher risk of infection. Some of the risk factors that make a person more suspectable to infection include:
- Over the age of 65
- Your chemotherapy treatment is at high risk for causing febrile neutropenia
- You have a weakened immune system
Not every chemotherapy patient requires CSFs. It is only recommended to take them if the patient falls into a high-risk category.
If you have skin cancer, your doctor may have mentioned using radiation therapy as a form of treatment. Learn about radiation therapy for skin cancer here.
How Can You Lower Your Risk of Infection?
While CSFs are certainly a beneficial treatment option for patients who require a bit more protection during chemotherapy treatment, there are other ways that you can lower your risk of infection as well. Here are a few quick tips that may help:
- Be mindful of your health. This means watching out for early warning signs of sickness and infection such as fever, fatigue, or chronic cough. If you get a cut or scrape, be sure to administer basic first-aid to keep the area clean.
- Make hygiene a priority. You should take care to wash your hands frequently, bathe regularly, practice good oral hygiene, and keep your home clean and tidy. Doing these things will reduce the chances of bacteria and viruses growing in your space.
- Avoid crowds of people. While you should certainly still have a social life, it is important to reduce your exposure to large gatherings of people as much as possible. People carry germs and not everybody is as diligent about their health.
- Be up to date on vaccinations. When you have a compromised immune system, it is especially important to add as many layers of protection as possible.
- Drink plenty of water. Proper hydration plays a critical role in your overall health.
- Eat a balanced diet. Never underestimate the importance of eating well. Work with your doctor to learn more about foods that will keep you healthy.
- Exercise. Some patients have the energy to exercise even during chemotherapy treatments. Talk to your doctor about safe ways to exercise.
- Talk to your doctor. If you notice changes in your health, make sure that you bring it up to your doctor right away. You may need a prescription of antibiotics to help you fight the infection.
A cancer diagnosis can certainly be an overwhelming time for anybody. However, there are treatment options (like a white blood cell booster during chemo) available that not only fight the development of cancer cells but can also help you reduce the chances of infection. Your body may be compromised, but CSFs and additional support from your doctor can go a long way in protecting your body.
For more information about CFS, please reach out to your doctor. If you are undergoing chemotherapy treatment and think you may be at higher risk for infection, then you should discuss the options available to you. Your doctor will be able to answer your questions and provide additional insight that is relevant to your situation.