Are there white blood cells supplements to rejuvenate blood counts during chemo?

Betty in rancho cucamonga, ca asked...

I am a 59 year old female. I had a total hysterectomy including removal of right lymph node. I have had 25 treatments of radiation and 30 hours of Cesium radioactive radiation. I have had one treatment of chemo and my white blood count is too low for me to receive the next one. This is the second time it has been to low. Are there any white blood cells supplements that I can take to help rejuvenate them?

Expert Answer

Senior Editor Melanie Haiken, who is responsible for's coverage of cancer, general health, and family finance, discovered how important it is to provide accurate, targeted, usable health information to people facing difficult decisions.

A very common side effect of chemotherapy is low white blood cell counts. This happens because the chemotherapy drugs kill the cells in the bone marrow that produce new white blood cells. There are drugs called Neulasta and Neupogen that are very effective in boosting white blood cell production; has your doctor been prescribing these? They are usually given as an injection a day or two after chemo treatments. Other than Neupogen and Neulasta, there isn't a lot you can do to boost your white count; however you can take precautions to protect yourself from infection while your white count is low. You also might try accupuncture to boost your immune system.