Granulocytes are defense cells of the organism, characterized by the presence of granules inside. They are produced in the bone marrow, found in the bloodstream and comprise neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils. The granules present in these cells contain toxic substances, capable of degrading microorganisms foreign to the organism.
The number of granulocytes in the blood can be assessed through the blood count. Monitoring this amount is important during cancer treatment, as chemotherapy, radiation, and molecular-targeted drugs can reduce the amount of these cells in the blood.
In addition, there are hematological neoplasms, such as leukemias, which can cause a significant increase in granulocytes in the bloodstream, a situation known as granulocytosis.
Other defense cells of the organism do not have granules inside, being called agranulocytes. They include lymphocytes and monocytes.