Can You Detect Cancer With A Blood Test
Blood work typically serves as a general health barometer, helping detect and manage different diseases. In addition, it can help diagnose specific types of cancer. For instance, a routine blood test can help detect leukemia, a type of cancer affecting the blood-forming tissues in the body.
We work with In particular, a CBC test measures the number of various blood cells in an individuals bloodstream. These typically include platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells. An abnormal result can indicate leukemia. However, abnormal levels of blood cells can also be a sign of a benign inflammatory condition. Therefore, physicians usually opt for follow-up testing that helps to confirm or rule out the diagnosis.
A single blood test cannot accurately diagnose cancer, regardless of type. Cancer diagnosis requires complete evaluation, which may include a physical examination, going over the patients medical background and history, in addition to diagnostic testing. Performing several tests is crucial to confirm whether an individual has cancer or if the symptoms result from another health problem.
Diagnostic testing helps confirm the presence of a disease in the body or rule out a fake diagnosis. Similarly, laboratory tests and blood work are necessary for monitoring the disease process, helping physicians plan and evaluate treatment plans and their effectiveness.
Where Can I Learn More About Tumor Markers And Tumor Marker Testing
Ask your doctor to provide general information on tumor markers and tumor marker testing, as well as information specific to your type of cancer. You can also learn about tumor markers in the specific Type of Cancer sections on Cancer.Net.
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Is Cancer Marker Test Correct
Cancer marker test is correct?
Cancer marker test has the meaning of helping doctors diagnose the risk of cancer but cannot confirm the exact nature of cancer. Cancer marker tests are often ordered by a doctor when he suspects a patient has cancer.
Test results can also be influenced by objective factors that lead to false negatives or false positives. Depending on the patient’s condition, doctors will advise whether to do additional tests to check or not.
To know exactly if you have cancer or not, you should have a second cancer marker test about 3 6 months after the first test. Through evaluating the results and comparing them with the results for the first time, if the index increases suddenly, you will have to check the combination to find the cause of the disease.
Cancer marker tests cannot confirm 100% accuracy, but when combined with other types of tests, CT imaging will have a higher rate of accuracy. If you suspect that you have cancer, you should go to the hospital for counseling to check and screen for cancer markers to get the most accurate diagnosis.
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What Do Lab Tests For Cancer Look For
- Test for cancer biomarkers in your blood
- Measure antigens for breast cancer, ovarian cancer and more
- Assess genetic risk factors for cancer via saliva swab
- Assess treatment effectiveness and cancer progression
- Tumor markers for pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer and beyond
- Blood testing, fecal testing and non-invasive saliva testing
Imaging Tests To Look For Colorectal Cancer
Imaging tests use sound waves, x-rays, magnetic fields, or radioactive substances to create pictures of the inside of your body. Imaging tests may be done for a number of reasons, such as:
- To look at suspicious areas that might be cancer
- To learn how far cancer might have spread
- To help determine if treatment is working
- To look for signs of cancer coming back after treatment
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The Role Of Cancer Tests
Cancer tests can be used to diagnose, screen for, and monitor cancer.
- Diagnosis: Cancer diagnosis tests can indicate the type of cancer you may have, which can guide your treatment options. This type of test can also rule out cancer.
- Screening: Cancer screening tests are used to check your body for the presence of disease before you have symptoms. Screening can help identify cancers early, when treatment is the most likely to work well.
- Monitoring: As cancer progresses or you go into remission, monitoring tests can guide your health care team to determine treatment success or cancer recurrence.
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Complete Blood Count Normal Ranges
The numbers below show what the normal ranges for the main components of a CBC look like. Some components have different normal ranges for women and men.
Normal ranges for CBC components:
- White blood cells :
- Women: 4,500 to 10,000 cells/mcL
- Men: 4,500 to 10,000 cells/mcL
Keep in mind that there are many reasons that certain levels could be abnormal. Factors such as recent diet and activity may affect the results. Your cancer care team can help you understand your results, catch things early and avoid complications.
Are There Different Types Of Tumor Markers
There are different types of tumor markers for different types of cancer. Certain tumor markers are associated with only 1 type of cancer. Other tumor markers are associated with more than 1 cancer. However, many cancers have no known tumor markers, so tumor marker testing may not be an option. Researchers continue to look for new and more effective tumor markers.
What Are The Limitations Of Tumor Marker Tests
Tumor marker tests can provide a lot of helpful information, but they arent fail-safe. Just because a person has tumor markers, it doesnt always mean cancer is present or has come back. Conditions besides cancer can raise tumor marker levels. Other limitations include:
Tumor markers can go up and down over time, making it hard to measure them consistently.
The level of a tumor maker may not go up until after the cancer is advanced.
Some cancers dont make tumor markers that can be found with current tests.
Some people dont have higher tumor marker levels even if the type of cancer they have usually makes tumor markers.
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Blood Tests For Cancer Markers
Cancer is a term used to describe abnormal cell growth and proliferation in the body. This is a relatively scary word to hear for anybody. The most common thought that comes to a persons mind on hearing the word Cancer is a deadly disease which is potentially fatal.
Well, it is true in most of the cases where a diagnosis of cancer is made considerably late. The reason is that, quite often, cancer of any type or any organ does not show alarming signs and symptoms right from the very beginning. In plenty of cases, cancer is discovered accidentally while having a regular blood check or while investigating for some other cause.
Blood Tests Vs Biopsy
Researchers suggest that biopsies may replace blood tests for cancer diagnosis soon. Blood tests involve lab analyses of blood cells to examine or measure cells, proteins, chemicals, and other substances in the blood. On the other hand, biopsy involves taking a tissue sample for examination under a microscope. This test examines the tissue to examine the cause of an individuals symptoms, aiding the diagnosis of various conditions, including cancer.
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Circulating Tumor Cell Test
A circulating tumor cell test can check for blood biomarkers that show whether normal cells are transforming into cancer cells. CTC tests can help diagnose and screen patients who have a risk of developing cancer, such as a family history of the disease.
CTC tests are helpful in the early detection of cancer as well as monitoring treatment effectiveness over time. The only test currently approved for this purpose is called CellSearch CTC, which offers different prostate, colorectal, and breast cancer assays.
What Is The Markup Of Cancer
As defined by the American Cancer Society, tumor markers also known as tumor markers are produced by cancer cells or can also be produced by other cells in the body. These are manufactured in response to cancer or some other benign illness.
Cancer markers are still being produced for the average person, but at very low concentrations in normal tissues.
In the case of real cancer, tumor marker markers are produced by the cells, but the number will be many times higher than normal. Thanks to that, through the blood test it is possible to distinguish benign and malignant tumors.
Cancer markers can be detected through tests from a patient’s blood, urine, stool, or body fluids. Some tumor markers are specific to only one type of cancer. However, in other types of cancer, some tumor markers tend to increase quite high.
There are some cases where, although the amount of tumor markers increases, it is not cancer. This test result is called a false positive for some typical diseases such as pneumonia, hepatitis, benign breast disease
In order to diagnose cancer, it is necessary to combine cancer marker tests, diagnostic examinations with other specialized tests to have accurate results.
Therefore, when the results of different types of tumor marker tests are available, the patient should consult a doctor to understand the meaning of the indicators most accurately. Avoid the confusion that when your index increases, you think you have cancer, not because of other diseases.
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List Of Blood Tests For Cancer Markers Commonly Used
Calcitonin is a hormone secreted by the parafollicular cells of the thyroid gland. Calcitonin can be used to detect thyroid cancer in early stages. S-100 is often raised in metastatic melanoma. S-100 can also monitor growth or regression of melanoma.
As it is quite evident from the above table that parameters to detect cancer markers are often not restricted to just the tumor or cancer, they are also elevated in plenty of non-cancerous conditions.
And that is why, tumor marker tests need to be done along with other blood tests, physical examination, CT/ MRI or PET scans, a detailed medical history and biopsies of suspected part having cancer are essential while making a definite diagnosis.
Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Himanshi is a Homoeopathic consultant and currently working as a lecturer in Post-graduate faculty of Homeopathy, Parul University, Vadodara. Completed BHMS and MD in Homeopathy in January 2018 and also has a clinical experience of about 6 years. Personal interests include reading, spending time with family and traveling.
Blood Tests For Tumor Markers
Tumor markers are substances that are either made by cancer cells or made by your body in response to cancer. Some types of tumor markers can be found in the blood and could indicate the presence of cancer.
The two tumor markers most commonly used to help detect pancreatic cancer are called CA19-9 and CEA. These are proteins that, at higher levels, can be detected in the blood of some people with pancreatic cancer.
However, not everyone with pancreatic cancer has high levels of these proteins. Also, other health conditions can also cause high levels of these proteins.
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What Are The Limitations Of Tumour Marker Tests
Tumor marker tests can provide a lot of helpful information, however it may not always be correct. The limitations include:
- Some noncancerous conditions can also raise tumor marker levels.
- Tumor markers may go up and down over time, making it a little difficult to measure them consistently.
- Sometimes, the level of a tumor maker may not go up until the cancer is in the last stage.
- Some cancers dont make tumor markers.
- Even if there is a cancer known to raise tumor marker levels, some people wont have high levels of that tumor marker.
Future Scope Of Tumor Markers
The future holds great promise for the field of tumor markers. With the advances in genomic and proteomic technology, human diseases will be classified based on molecular rather than morphological analysis. This will occur through techniques such as laser capture micro-dissection for the procurement of tissues and cells, and by combining genomic and proteomic analysis. Early diagnosis of disease is possible by using unique gene or protein profiles consisting of multiple biomarkers. The analysis of panels of protein biomarkers may be performed by using traditional ELISA or antibody-based protein chips for parallel testing. Furthermore, there will be many more diagnostic tests generated as a result of genomic and proteomic discoveries.
In the future, the development of biochips will grow much faster than rest of the diagnostic industry which will include DNA, RNA, and protein chip. All the types of samples will be analyzed including tissues, cells, and body fluids. Integrated diagnostic tools that combine these methods with molecular imaging technique will be used. Finally, bioinformatics will link to scientific data to clinical information to provide and better more comprehensive care of the patients health. We will witness a rapid translation of new discoveries from the laboratory to patients bedside. With advances in proteomic, laboratory testing and hence laboratory diagnosis become even more important in the integral health-care delivery system.
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Use In Men Already Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer
The PSA test can also be useful if you have already been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
- In men just diagnosed with prostate cancer, the PSA level can be used together with physical exam results and tumor grade to help decide if other tests are needed.
- The PSA level is used to help determine the stage of your cancer. This can affect your treatment options, since some treatments are not likely to be helpful if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
- PSA tests are often an important part of determining how well treatment is working, as well as in watching for a possible recurrence of the cancer after treatment .
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Tumor Marker Tests And Specific Cancers
Doctors use different tumor marker tests for different cancers. However, many cancers do not yet have tumor markers that can help guide care.
Ask your health care team if you will have tumor marker testing. You can also find information on tumor markers in the sections on different cancers on Cancer.Net.
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What Are Cancer Markers
Cancer is also called as a tumor, meaning an abnormal mass or growth of tissue without inflammation. Therefore, blood tests for cancer markers are also called Tumor
Advantages of Getting Blood Tests Done for Tumor Markers are:
Tumor markers are substances present in the blood when you have cancer. But it is not completely diagnostic. Sometimes, these tumor markers may be present in the blood due to certain other diseases. That is why only some tumor markers are considered to be of diagnostic value.
Questions To Ask The Health Care Team
You might want to ask your health care team these questions.
Do you think I need any tumor marker tests? Which ones, and why?
Have you looked for tumor markers already? Which ones?
How are these tests done? How often should I have them?
Who can explain the results to me?
If I have abnormal levels of a tumor marker, what does that mean? How could this result affect my treatment plan?
Will I need tumor marker tests after my cancer treatment ends?
Where can I learn more about tumor markers and testing?
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What Is The Psa Test
Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein produced by normal, as well as malignant, cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in the blood. For this test, a blood sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results are usually reported as nanograms of PSA per milliliter of blood.
The blood level of PSA is often elevated in people with prostate cancer, and the PSA test was originally approved by the FDA in 1986 to monitor the progression of prostate cancer in men who had already been diagnosed with the disease. In 1994, FDA approved the PSA test to be used in conjunction with a digital rectal exam to aid in the detection of prostate cancer in men 50 years and older. Until about 2008, many doctors and professional organizations had encouraged yearly PSA screening for prostate cancer beginning at age 50.
PSA testing is also often used by health care providers for individuals who report prostate symptoms to help determine the nature of the problem.
In addition to prostate cancer, several benign conditions can cause a persons PSA level to rise, particularly prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia . There is no evidence that either condition leads to prostate cancer, but someone can have one or both of these conditions and develop prostate cancer as well.
What Are The General Warning Signs Of Cancer
While any persistent symptom warrants medical attention, watch for these signs and symptoms that could indicate a serious disease, including a malignancy:
- Unexplained weight loss with sudden loss of appetite that continues despite good nutrition.
- Persistent low-grade fever.
- White patches in the mouth.
- A lump or thickened area that can be felt through the skin.
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