There are three type of blood cell counts. They are white blood cell counts, red blood cell counts and platelets. If you have low blood cell counts, your treatment will depend on which counts are low and what's causing the low numbers.
1. White blood cells. These cells help your body fight infection. A low white blood cell count (leukopenia) leaves your body more open to infection. And if an infection does develop, your body may be unable to fight it off.
2. Red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body. Your red blood cells' ability to carry oxygen is measured by the amount of hemoglobin in your blood. If your level of hemoglobin is low, you're anemic and your body works much harder to supply oxygen to your tissues. This can make you feel fatigued and short of breath.
3. Platelets. Platelets help your blood to clot. A low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) means your body can't stop itself from bleeding.
Common treatments include:
1. Blood transfusions. Transfusions help people with low levels of red blood cells and platelets. In a blood transfusion you're given either red blood cells or platelets from people who've donated blood. Though transfusions of white blood cells are possible, they're reserved for specific, rare situations because of the risk of many complications.
2. Medications. Your doctor may prescribe medications that stimulate the production of more blood cells. Medications have benefits and risks, so talk to your doctor about the possible side effects of drugs used to boost blood cell counts.
3. Stopping or delaying treatment. In severe cases you may need to stop your cancer treatment altogether, or delay it until your blood cell counts rise.