White blood cells (WBC) or leucocytes/leukocytes are the cells of the immune system that defend our bodies from infections and cancer. The prefix “leuco”, “leuko” or “leuk” usually refers to WBCs (although it can also refer to the brain's white matter, e.g., leucoencephalopathy affects the brain's white matter). For example leukaemia is a cancer of the WBCs, likewise leucopenia (also spelt leukopenia by Americans) is an abnormally low number of WBCs in the blood.

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