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The CEB Blood Test

written by: DaniellaNicole•edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski•updated: 6/28/2011

What is a CEB blood test? Learn the answer to that, as well as why blood tests and CEB go hand-in-hand.

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    What is the CEB Blood Test?

    A CEB blood test is a test used to monitor how effective chemotherapy is for a cancer patient. The name comes from the tablets taken by the patient: Chorambucil and Etoposide. Blood tests and CEB go hand-in-hand because of the importance of monitoring the health and progress of patients undergoing chemotherapy.

    The drugs are given orally and in an on-off pattern. The pattern may be five days of oral chemotherapy drugs in combination with steroids. This pattern may be repeated every three weeks.

    Another oral chemotherapy drug, CCNU is given in a different pattern. It is only taken on one day and repeated in six-week increments.

    Blood tests taken during cancer treatment will measure white blood cells, platelets and hemoglobin levels.

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    High White Blood Cell Count

    Patients undergoing cancer treatment can suffer from a variety of complications. Blood tests can reveal abnormalities that indicate the effectiveness of treatment as well as some resulting complications, such as irregular nutrient levels.

    If white blood cells count is high, an infection may be present. Patients undergoing chemotherapy are especially at risk for infection, so this result from a CEB can alert the treating physician to problems.

    Other reasons for a high white blood cell count include bone marrow disease, a reaction to a drug and an immune-system disorder.

    Leukopenia (low white blood cell count) is a problem because white blood cells help the body fight infection. A low count can indicate the patient is especially susceptible to infection and may be unable to fight off an infection, if one occurs.

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    Hemoglobin Levels

    According to the Mayo Clinic, a low hemoglobin count is usually considered to be 13.5 grams per deciliter for men and 12 grams per deciliter for women. A level slightly lower than that is not usually considered significant enough to worry about, but if it’s a lot lower, it could indicate anemia or the presence of some disease or other abnormality.

    Low hemoglobin levels can cause a patient to feel short of breath and fatigued. This can also inhibit a patient’s ability to heal properly.

    High hemoglobin levels can indicate a bone marrow issue, over-release of protein by the kidneys, or poor lung or heart function.

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    Platelets

    The function of platelets is to help clot blood. A low platelet count can indicate an inability of the body to clot properly. This can occur due to chemotherapy treatment and ins one thing doctors monitor when running blood tests on chemotherapy patients.

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    Summary

    Blood tests and CEB are part of the treatment process chemotherapy patients undergo in order to maximize their chances for a successful recovery. Careful monitoring of the patient via CEB blood tests is crucial to increase a patient’s chances for the best possible health during treatment and the best possible results afterwards.

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    References

    CEB. Cancer Net. http://www.cancernet.co.uk/chem-ceb.htm

    High White Blood Cell Count. Mayo Clinic. By Mayo Clinic Staff. September 29, 2008. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-white-blood-cell-count/my00161

    Low Hemoglobin Count. Definition. Mayo Clinic. By May Clinic Staff. March 20, 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/low-hemoglobin/MY01183

    Low Blood Cell Counts: Side Effects of Cancer Treatment. Mayo Clinic. By Mayo Clinic Staff. September 19, 2009. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cancer-treatment/CA00066