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Calculating the ANC


ANC – Absolute Neutrophil Count

ANC – The Absolute Neutrophil Count gives your child’s medical team an estimate of the body’s ability to fight infections, especially bacterial infections. A neutrophil is a type of white blood cell that kills bacteria. Neutrophils are counted as part of the Complete Blood Count (CBC). To find the ANC, multiply the WBC (white blood cell count) by the percent of segmented neutrophils (shortened to “segs”) and bands.


2,000 WBC
x .50 (48 segs + 2 bands = 50)
1,000 ANC

Your child’s doctor may decide to delay chemotherapy if the ANC is too low. When the ANC is below 500, the risk for infection is high. During this time, it is important for your child to stay away from crowds, especially groups of children. For more information about what you can do to protect your child when his ANC is low, see “Do you know… How to prevent infection.”

If you have more questions about the ANC or infection risks, please talk to your child’s doctor or nurse.

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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