Cancer is not fully studied, but a lot of studies are carried out in this area aimed not only at the treatment, but also at the recognition of this deadly disease. The most important task is the prevention of oncology, which is impossible without modern methods of examination. Are there any blood tests for cancer, what do they indicate, and how to understand a blood test?
Blood tests for cancer indicate the possibility of cancer in the body and point to the location of the tumor, but often do not provide enough bases for a definitive diagnosis. It is possible to determine only through additional research: which blood test shows oncology and which blood test shows cancer. It is known that a blood test can detect cancer even at the very early stages. Changes in blood tests in oncology, made at different stages of the disease will help to trace the dynamics of the disease.
To find out which blood test shows oncology, you have to see a specialist. Will you need additional examinations or tests – the doctor decides, after receiving the results.
Complete blood count
A normal blood test for cancer – is the absence of cancer cells, but the CBC in oncology can show the same parameters as in other diseases. It is often impossible to say with certainty that a complete blood count shows oncology. Eventually the other studies are conducted to clarify the situation.
The CBC for cancer measures the following:
- White blood cell (WBC, leukocyte) count;
- Hemoglobin count;
- The erythrocyte sedimentation rate.
The CBC in oncology is characterized by the following features: high white blood cell count and erythrocyte sedimentation rate, but a low hemoglobin count. However, such measures may also occur in other diseases, so the decoding of blood tests in oncology does not give a full confidence in the diagnosis.
The general condition of the patient plays an important role in the diagnosis. If there are no any serious illness, the patient is active, fully powered, does not suffer from bad habits (smoking, alcohol) leading to cancer, the more likely it is a benign tumor.
A complete blood test detects cancer at an early stage. Confirming the diagnosis with additional research methods, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible, preventing further development of the tumor.
One of these research methods is a blood chemistry test.
Blood chemistry test
How to understand a blood test, and what tests can show cancer? The easiest way to identify oncology is a blood test, or to use tumor markers. Tumor markers are proteins and antigens formed by different types of cancers. But some of these substances are formed in a healthy organism, and in some other diseases. Even if the blood chemistry shows oncology, it is not necessary to despair. Often, other studies are required to confirm the diagnosis, such as ultrasound or a biopsy. Just a doctor will determine which blood tests for cancer you must take.
The content of tumor markers in the blood is individual, and only a significant change in blood tests for cancer can show the doctor a complete picture. It is necessary to trace the development of the patient’s condition, i.e., to understand if the number of tumor markers will change at the time of next survey. This means that the patient will have blood tests more than once.
Tumor markers include:
We consider the most common tumor markers which can help to determine cancer by a blood test.
The PSA enzyme in the prostate increases with age. When it reaches 30, the blood test shows oncology. If the figures are below 30 but above the norm – additional research are appointed.
An elevated level of the protein CA-125 – is an alarming figure in the blood test for ovarian cancer. For more accurate diagnosis it is necessary to have ultrasound.
CA15-3 – is a poor blood component in the analysis for breast cancer. After the study you should immediately start treatment.
It is impossible to accurately determine whether a blood test shows cancer, if the body contains the CA 19-9 tumor marker. This tumor marker is released in the presence of cancer in the gastrointestinal tract.
Tumor markers present in the blood with the development of cancer in many organs: the cervix, lung, bladder, gut, liver, pancreas and mammary gland. However, the high content of this antigen can be observed in patients suffering from tobacco and alcohol abuse, as well as people with an affected liver. That is why it is impossible to identify cancer by blood test in such a situation, although the CBC reveals the disease. MRI is carried out to make an accurate diagnosis.
These are not all presently known tumor markers, scientists, doctors constantly reveal new other methods of diagnosis of this dangerous disease.
This method has been developed recently. It differs from other surveys in a high accuracy of determination of the disease. The analysis is based on the infrared spectra, which absorb blood serum and reflect its molecular composition. This type of survey is absolutely safe and relatively cheap. The benefits include the possibility to identify breast tumors at an early stage of development, which significantly increases the chances of recovery.
This test makes it possible to learn about the genetic predisposition to breast cancer. The decision to take such an analysis can make any woman who wants to know about the disposition of the organism to the emergence of malignant tumors. Taking into account a psychological aspect, such a survey is desirable for those who have a positive family history of breast cancer. Before the procedure, a client talks to an expert on genetic issues. He explains some of the issues that may occur as a result of the positive analysis.
If the blood counts in these tests are normal or there are minor changes caused by inflammatory or chronic diseases, you can sleep peacefully. If some figures bother you, there is a possibility that the tumor has already started its development. So you need to consult an oncologist who will prescribe the necessary examinations, accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Be on guard of your health, take care!