CBC

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Paula G.
Paula G. Member Posts: 596
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
Hi everyone,
Jennie brought up the blood test question. I have one for you guys also. Is there a web site that tells you what everything on the CBC print out means? In terms regular people understand. I have googled it and found info on some but not all and to much on other stuff.
John's Onc just says things look okay. I see L (low) H (high) on some of them and want to know more without having to read a book on line. If anyone can help make it simple that would help. Paula G.

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  • Betsydoglover
    Betsydoglover Member Posts: 1,248 Member
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    Understanding CBC

    I took a couple of veterinary technology courses having to do with red and white blood cells – reference ranges are different for animals, but the meaning is the same as for humans. Here’s my simplistic attempt at explaining:

    The CBC report has three parts in my mind:
    1) White blood cell information
    2) Red blood cell information
    3) Red blood cell indices

    White Blood Cell Info
    ---------------------

    WBC = total count of white blood cells per microliter of blood

    LY = % of white blood cells that are “lymphocytes”
    MO = % of white blood cells that are “monocytes”
    GR = % of white blood cells that are “granulocytes”

    The distinctions between these have largely to do with shape and appearance of the cells and the reference ranges for your lab will show the typical percentages.

    The LY#, MO# and GR# are simply the absolute number of lymphocytes, monocytes and granulocytes per microliter of blood.

    Red Blood Cell Info
    -------------------

    RBC = total count of red blood cells per microliter of blood
    Hgb = total amount of hemoglobin in grams per decaliter of blood; hemoglobin is the oxygen carrying pigment in red blood cells.
    Hct = percentage of whole blood that consists of red blood cells; normally referred to as “hematocrit”
    PLT – count of platelets per microliter of blood.

    Red Blood Cell Indices
    ----------------------

    These indices MCV,MCH, MCHC.MPV,RDW often show as High or Low and in the presence of normal blood counts I don’t think they mean much, but I am NOT a doctor! RDW for example is a measure of the variation of the size of red blood cells. Immature red blood cells are larger than mature ones. A greater size variation probably indicates production of more RBCs – you might expect this to be the case when your RBC total count is on the low side (even if normal). My doc never seems to worry at all about he H and L for these indices when the counts themselves are ok or almost ok.

    You should ask your doctor about these counts - I actually plan to next time as it always bugs me that my RDW is normally high. My onc is a hematologist and I know this doesn't matter if she doesn't care, but I plan to ask anyway.
  • Paula G.
    Paula G. Member Posts: 596
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    Understanding CBC

    I took a couple of veterinary technology courses having to do with red and white blood cells – reference ranges are different for animals, but the meaning is the same as for humans. Here’s my simplistic attempt at explaining:

    The CBC report has three parts in my mind:
    1) White blood cell information
    2) Red blood cell information
    3) Red blood cell indices

    White Blood Cell Info
    ---------------------

    WBC = total count of white blood cells per microliter of blood

    LY = % of white blood cells that are “lymphocytes”
    MO = % of white blood cells that are “monocytes”
    GR = % of white blood cells that are “granulocytes”

    The distinctions between these have largely to do with shape and appearance of the cells and the reference ranges for your lab will show the typical percentages.

    The LY#, MO# and GR# are simply the absolute number of lymphocytes, monocytes and granulocytes per microliter of blood.

    Red Blood Cell Info
    -------------------

    RBC = total count of red blood cells per microliter of blood
    Hgb = total amount of hemoglobin in grams per decaliter of blood; hemoglobin is the oxygen carrying pigment in red blood cells.
    Hct = percentage of whole blood that consists of red blood cells; normally referred to as “hematocrit”
    PLT – count of platelets per microliter of blood.

    Red Blood Cell Indices
    ----------------------

    These indices MCV,MCH, MCHC.MPV,RDW often show as High or Low and in the presence of normal blood counts I don’t think they mean much, but I am NOT a doctor! RDW for example is a measure of the variation of the size of red blood cells. Immature red blood cells are larger than mature ones. A greater size variation probably indicates production of more RBCs – you might expect this to be the case when your RBC total count is on the low side (even if normal). My doc never seems to worry at all about he H and L for these indices when the counts themselves are ok or almost ok.

    You should ask your doctor about these counts - I actually plan to next time as it always bugs me that my RDW is normally high. My onc is a hematologist and I know this doesn't matter if she doesn't care, but I plan to ask anyway.

    Thanks
    I do know most of those but it is the NEU%, LYMPH%, MO%, EOS%, BA%, NEU# which I know that if it drops to 1.5 he will need a shot.
    I not crazy about his Onc and we are going to change. We wanted to wait until his 12 treatments were done but may chang sooner. Thanks for your help. Paula G.
  • PGLGreg
    PGLGreg Member Posts: 731
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    Here is a convenient reference.
    --Greg
  • califsue
    califsue Member Posts: 80
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    PGLGreg said:

    Here is a convenient reference.
    --Greg

    Website for explanation of CBC
    Here is a good, clear explanation of a CBC.

    http://www.stillsdisease.org/lab_tests/cbc

    Hope this helps,
    Susan
  • Paula G.
    Paula G. Member Posts: 596
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    califsue said:

    Website for explanation of CBC
    Here is a good, clear explanation of a CBC.

    http://www.stillsdisease.org/lab_tests/cbc

    Hope this helps,
    Susan

    Thanks
    Thanks to all who responded it helped