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Cisplatin is a chemotherapy drug used to treat testicular, ovarian, bladder, head and neck, lung and cervical cancer. 

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  • Why should I share my story?

    We want to help as many people as possible during their cancer experience – patients, carers, families and communities. A great way of doing this is by raising awareness of what we do in national newspapers, magazines, on TV and in the local press we can reach more people.

    We rely on personal stories to help us do this as they engage the reader and bring the story to life. For example, if we provide research for a newspaper showing that cancer can affect people financially, it has more of an impact if it’s accompanied by an emotive quote or story of someone who has been directly affected.

    Your story can inspire people to take action, maybe encouraging those who see it to get help if they are worried they have the symptoms of cancer, or inspiring them to donate or fundraise for us. Some people who’ve shared their story find it a really cathartic and helpful experience. It makes them feel good to give something back.

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  • What would I have to do?

    If you are interested in sharing your story, all you need to do is send us a summary of your story along with your name, contact details and a recent photo to storiesteam@macmillan.org.uk. A member of the friendly stories team will be in touch if there’s an opportunity we think you’d be perfect for.

    If you have a story that we think will be of interest to the media, a member of the press team will get in touch to explain the process of sharing your story and answer any questions you might have. They will ask you a few questions to find out more about your story and may ask you to send over some more recent photos.

    If you want to go ahead, the press officer will approach journalists with your story and try to secure you a slot in a magazine, newspaper or on TV. If you are happy to appear in that media, with your permission we’ll pass on your contact details to the journalist who will arrange to interview you, usually by telephone. We regret that we won’t be able to respond to everyone who emails us but really appreciate you getting in touch.

  • Where would my story appear?

    We use stories throughout our work, from fundraising appeals to cancer information materials to social media posts. We will always let you know how we’d like to share your story, and we will only do so if you are totally comfortable.

    We also work with a range of media from broadcasters like the BBC, national newspapers like The Times, Daily Mail and Guardian and women’s magazines like Woman’s Own and Good Housekeeping.

    They all have different requirements for their stories so we would approach those which we think are most appropriate, depending on your story. You will always have our full support when there’s an opportunity to share your story with the media.

  • Do I have to be identified and pictured?

    There are some opportunities where your story can be anonymised, but it’s always much more powerful and engaging when people can see the storyteller behind the experience.

  • Will I have a say over what's written?

    In any of Macmillan’s work that shared your story, we will always work with you to make sure that you feel your story is being represented in an authentic and appropriate way.

  • What happens once I’ve shared my story?

    We’ll share with you any content that your story appears in and will let you know what impact it’s had. If you’re happy and give us your consent, we’ll store your contact details and story in our database, and will be in touch with future opportunities that might be relevant to you.

    If your story was shared in the media, the journalist should tell you when your story will appear so you can get a copy and tell all your friends. We’ll also try our best to get this for you. We will also ask the journalists to include information about Macmillan Cancer Support’s campaigns and services and you can feel proud that you’ve helped deliver our message.





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Blood tests

What is a blood test?

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A phlebotomist, nurse or doctor will take a sample of blood, usually from a vein in your arm. This will then be tested in a laboratory. Test adding document. Test test test. 


In this video: This video is an animation of how blood cells are made


Full blood count (FBC)

Blood is made up of blood cells, which float in a liquid called plasma. Each type of blood cell has an important role in the body.

A full blood count (FBC) test measures the level of these cells:

  • Red blood cells

    Red blood cells contain haemoglobin (Hb), which carries oxygen from your lungs to all the cells in your body.

  • Platelets

    Platelets are very small cells that help blood to clot, and prevent bleeding and bruising.

  • White blood cells

    White blood cells fight and prevent infection. There are several types of white blood cell. The two most important types are neutrophils and lymphocytes.

Measuring your full blood count

The levels of these cells in your blood can be measured with a blood test called a full blood count (FBC). The figures below are a guide to the levels usually found in a healthy person.

These numbers can vary from hospital to hospital. Your doctor or nurse will tell you which levels they use. They also vary slightly between people from different ethnic backgrounds.

The numbers might look complicated when they are written down, but doctors and nurses often use them in a simple way. For example, you may hear them saying things like, ‘your haemoglobin is 140’ or ‘your neutrophils are 4’.

If you would like to know more you can always ask your medical team to explain in more detail.


 Type of cell  Levels found in a healthy person
 Red blood cells – measured in haemoglobin (Hb) levels 130-180g/l (men)
115-165g/l (women)
 Platelets 150-400 x 109/l 
 White blood cells (WBC) 4.0-11.0 x 109/l 
 Neutrophils 2.0-7.5 x 109/l 
 Lymphocytes 1.5-4.5 x 109/l 


Resources to help

You can download our Understanding kidney cancer leaflet [PDF]

Or click on the image below to download it.

Case study

"Sometimes you can relate to someone better when you talk to a stranger over the phone than you can to your loved ones. I called the Macmillan helpline. You could pick up a phone from the comfort of your home and speak to someone."

Ravinder, diagnosed with breast cancer 2013.

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About our information

This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer.

Dr Rebecca Roylance, Consultant Medical Oncologist & Honorary Associate Professor

Dr Rebecca Roylance


Consultant Medical Oncologist & Honorary Associate Professor

University College Hospitals, London

Dr Rebecca Roylance, Consultant Medical Oncologist & Honorary Associate Professor

Dr Rebecca Roylance


Consultant Medical Oncologist & Honorary Associate Professor

University College Hospitals, London

Date reviewed

Reviewed: 11 February 2024
Next review: 29 February 2024

This content is currently being reviewed. New information will be coming soon.

Trusted Information Creator - Patient Information Forum
Trusted Information Creator - Patient Information Forum

Our cancer information meets the PIF TICK quality mark.

This means it is easy to use, up-to-date and based on the latest evidence. Learn more about how we produce our information.

The language we use

We want everyone affected by cancer to feel our information is written for them.

We want our information to be as clear as possible. To do this, we try to:

  • use plain English
  • explain medical words
  • use short sentences
  • use illustrations to explain text
  • structure the information clearly
  • make sure important points are clear.

We use gender-inclusive language and talk to our readers as ‘you’ so that everyone feels included. Where clinically necessary we use the terms ‘men’ and ‘women’ or ‘male’ and ‘female’. For example, we do so when talking about parts of the body or mentioning statistics or research about who is affected.

You can read more about how we produce our information here.