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A 32-year-old member asked:

how can a cbc blood test show signs of cancer?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Scott Welker
General Surgery 27 years experience
High WBC: White blood cells are elevated in leukemia. Also, the rarer polycythemia vera (which can lead to red cell leukemia) and thrombocythemia (which can lead to leukemia of the platelets) can show up on cbc.
Dr. Liawaty Ho
Hematology and Oncology 23 years experience
Cbc: Yes, there are some abnormal features that you can see in CBC ( and peripheral blood smears) that would increase your suspicion towards certain blood cancer-for instance- circulating blast cells ( immature white blood cells) in acute leukemia, and other features that you can see in chronic leukemia- i.e. Cml, cll. You can not see any sign of solid cancer from cbc, however, .
Dr. Scott Welker
General Surgery 27 years experience
What she said.
Jun 27, 2012

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A 32-year-old member asked:

Can a cancer patient have CBC blood test that are normal or different?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Douglas Miller
Pathology 41 years experience
Yes: "cbc" (complete blood count) is a measure at a particular time of how much of the blood is composed of red blood cells, and what the size and hemoglobin content of those cells is, and of white blood cells, including the various different types of white blood cells. A cancer patient who does not have leukemia may have a normal cbc, or depending on treatment, extent of disease, etc may not.
A 39-year-old member asked:

Might it be that a cancer patient has CBC blood test that are normal or different?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Not a test for: cancer. With the exception of leukemias, CBC is not a useful test for cancer.

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Last updated Mar 12, 2020

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