Blood Test For Cancer

Submitted by Medical Health Test Team on November 20, 2012

Your doctor would accurately diagnose the existence of cancer only after a number of cancer blood tests have been conducted. However, these tests by themselves are not enough. If your doctor suspects that you have cancer, he or she will ask you to go in for certain blood tests and other tests that are conducted in a laboratory such as urine analysis and/or a biopsy of the area that is suspected to be cancerous.

If your doctor has recommended that you go in for some blood tests for cancer and some other tests, do not panic. This does not necessarily mean that you have cancer. Check with your doctor to find out what exactly he or she is looking out for when he/she orders these tests.

An analysis of these samples that are collected is done. The results of these tests may show cells of cancer, and other cancerous substances. Here are some blood tests that are used in the diagnosis of cancer:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC). This is a very common blood test that is used to measure the blood cells in your blood sample. This test can be used in the detection of any blood cancer. This is indicated by the number of blood cells as well as abnormal cells that are found in the sample. Your doctor might further recommend a biopsy of your bone marrow to confirm that you have blood cancer.
  • Blood Protein Testing. This test is used in the examination of the proteins that are present in your blood. If you have multiple myeloma the immunoglobulins, or abnormal immune system proteins, are found to be notably increased.

It is important that these results are interpreted with care as test results can be influenced by a number of factors such as changes that take place in your body and the food you consume. Abnormal test results can sometimes be caused by non-cancerous conditions. On the other hand, your blood test results may appear normal but you could still be suffering from cancer. What your doctor does is he or she checks if the results from your blood tests fall within the normal range. He/she would also use your present results and compare them with some earlier tests that you might have done.

To make a diagnosis that is definitive, your doctor may have to go in for additional urine and blood tests as well as a biopsy of the affected area. It is best to discuss your results with your doctor who will be able to guide you about what needs to be done next.

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