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Total Leucocyte Counts (TLC)

Total Leucocytes Count (White Blood Cell Count)

Leucocytes are white blood cells. These are of various types:

Neutrophils

Basophils

Eosinophils

Monocytes

Lymphocytes

These cells take part in defense system of our body. Deficiency of these cells causes various infections in our body like in AIDS patients. Lymphocytes are very low and such type of patients are prone to develop infections like tuberculosis, viral and fungal infections. if neutrophils are low, as in cancer patients on chemotherapy they are prone to develop bacterial and fungal infections. When leucocytes are low, we call it leucopenia. When leucocytes are high, we call it leukocytosis.

If you have low TLC then it is a dangerous condition because life threatening infections can occur in body leading to fatalities. Usually, it occurs in patients suffering from cancer especially when under chemotherapy infusions. Many Chemotherapy drugs can cause low TLC. SO, DO NOT RESORT TO SELF MEDICATION AND DO NOT TAKE MEDICINES PRESCRIBED BY NON TRAINED PERSONS IMPOSING AS DOCTORS.

Leucocytes are mainly of two types:
Neutrophil - these cells fight against bacteria and fungal organism.
Lymphocytes - these cells fight against virus and chronic infections like tuberculosis, leprosy.

In HIV patients lymphocytes are defective and number is less, this is the reason why such patients are prone to develop viral and tuberculosis infections. immuno-compromised patients like HIV patients, person on steroids, cancer patients, kidney transplant patients are also prone to develop cancer. Lymphocytes are having protective role in prevention of cancer, person having defect in lymphocytes is more prone to develop cancer. That is why in HIV patients incidences of cancer are very high.

TLC (total leucocytes count) can increase under many conditions. Stress is the main factor. Stress can be of many types. Infection because of any agent can increase TLC count. Trauma, physical exertion can also increase TLC count. BLOOD CANCER  and many other types of cancer can increase TLC. If you have persistently raised TLC, do not ignore it.

(Content Courtesy: Dr. Praveen Kumar Bansal, Director Oncology, Asian Institute of Medical Sciences, Faridabad).

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