A 48-year-old member asked:
Disclaimer

Can a blood test detect cancer?

1 doctor answer
Dr. Kenneth Cheng
30 years experience in Family Medicine
Only a few cancers: Unfortunately, there are very few cancers that can be detected through blood tests. These include prostate cancer and leukemia. Some other cancers have tumor marker tests, such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, and others but these are to monitor, not detect the cancer.
Answered on Aug 21, 2012
1
1 comment
Dr. Michael Thompson
19 years experience in Hematology and Oncology
I would add that germ cell tumors (eg testicular cancer) and liver cancer (Hepatocellular carcinoma - HCC) can be diagnosed by blood tests. However, they are usually confirmed (in more recent years) by biopsy. Some "tumor markers" may be non-specific or may correlate with cancer growth, but still be challenging to know how to use for patient care.
Dec 16, 2011

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
Unlimited visits
$10/month

Related questions:

A 59-year-old male asked:
Dr. Matthew Solhjem
20 years experience in Radiation Oncology
Not really.: The only blood test that indicates cancer is psa for men with prostate cancer. Unfortunately, we don't have any 'blood cancer test'. This might be a ... Read More
A 47-year-old female asked:
Dr. Dan Fisher
26 years experience in Internal Medicine
No and Maybe.: There is no test that can see if you have been exposed to X rays. Some blood tests can detect cancer: a complete blood count can detect leukemia. Som ... Read More
A 55-year-old member asked:
Dr. Sewa Legha
49 years experience in Medical Oncology
Rarely: Unless it a blood cancer(leukemia) it is not likely to show up in the blood. Some of the chemicals produced by cancder (tumor markers) can show up in ... Read More
A 51-year-old male asked:
Dr. Martin Rubenstein
44 years experience in Hematology and Oncology
No.: There is no one blood test that screens for all cancers. There are specific tests that can be used to monitor disease status in particular diagnoses ... Read More
3
3 thanks

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
Unlimited visits
$10/month