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Doctor insights on: If You Had Cancer Would It Show In Blood Tests

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,331 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Can xrays and blood tests show or detect cancer? Can xrays and blood tests show cancer? What are the best ways to detect cancer?

Can xrays and blood tests show or detect cancer? Can xrays and blood tests show cancer? What are the best ways to detect cancer?

It: It depends what kind of cancer. There are some types of cancer that can be detected by special blood tests, although many of these tests can be abnormal in other conditions too and they are mostly used to check up on people who already are diagnosed cancer in whom the doctor knows that the blood test is abnormal because of the cancer. Mammography is now the only proven x-ray study for screening people without cancer in order to find a new cancer (breast) early. However, there are studies being done to see if ct scans can help diagnose more early lung cancers in people at high-risk like heavy smokers. Other than mammography, most imaging studies are used only when someone has some sort of suspicious symptom or other finding in order to determine if a tumor is the cause of the problem. They are also used for "staging" after a cancer has been diagnosed which means to look to see where the cancer might have spread. Finally, imaging tests might be used to follow how well a treatment is working or to look for a recurrence after treatment has stopped. The problem with imaging studies is that most of them can only find a tumor that is a few millimeters in size. This is already hundreds of millions of cancer cells. You need to talk to your doctor about cancer screening. She or he can discuss the appropriate screening tests for you which depend on your age, gender, environmental exposures, and family history. These may include things like a psa test and rectal exam for prostate cancer, mammography or other images for breast cancer, a blood test and pelvic exam for uterine cancer, a pap smear for cervical cancer, a stool test and/or colonoscopy for colon cancer, or others. Read more

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Do blood tests show signs of cancer?

Do blood tests show signs of cancer?

Depends on type: There are some types of cancer that have specific blood tests that are very good at detecting them. But basic lab tests done for general purposes are often normal in people with cancer. Read more

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Can cancer always show up in blood tests?

Can cancer always show up in blood tests?

Not all cancers: Most cancers are not detected in the blood initially. There are a few that produce markers that allow us to screen patients for cancer with a blood test. Prostate cancer is the most common. There are some blood markers that are used to detect GI cancers as well as to follow patients with gyn cancers as well as breast. Testicular cancer also has commonly used markers. Must be in context of case. Read more

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Does cancer always show up in blood tests if you have it?

Does cancer always show up in blood tests if you have it?

NO: Unless you're anemic (low blood count) or have leukemia, basic blood tests won't show cancer. If you have true concerns, perhaps because of family tendencies, speak with your doctor. Good luck Read more

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Would blood tests show cancerous tumors, or even benign one's in the body? OR Would a regular blood test show indications of cancer / a tumor inside?

Would blood tests show cancerous tumors, or even benign one's in the body? OR Would a regular blood test show indications of cancer / a tumor inside?

Not very helpful: We don't have reliable blood tests to look for the common cancers. Your best bet is cancer surveillance (in your case, I trust you get pap smears if you have ever had someone special), and know the usual warning signs and get seen if they come up. Read more

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What do blood tests show about testicle cancer?

What do blood tests show about testicle cancer?

Testicular cancer: Certain testicular tumor release harmone like b-hcg or alph fetoprotein that can be detected by blood work. Read more

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Do blood tests/CT scans show if you have cancer in the results?

Do blood tests/CT scans show if you have cancer in the results?

Yes, most times it d: Cancer is not difficult to diagnose but you need to go to an experienced doctor/preferably an oncologist. We look for any abnormal growth in the common sites affected by cancer (such as Lungs, Colon, Breast and Prostate). Blood tests are an aid but only provide indirect support for diagnosis. There is no single blood test that wil reliably show Cancer, at least not yet, but someday soon it is likel Read more

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Does breast cancer show up in blood tests?

Does breast cancer show up in blood tests?

Not really.: Apart from tests for genetic markers, breast cancer is usually diagnosed from self exam or mammography where a mass is detected. If it persists throughout the cycle, or is in postmenopausal women, it should be aspirated. If the fluid is bloody or leaves a residual mass, or the original mass is solid, a mammogram and excisional biopsy are done. Read more

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If a person has cancer (of any kind), like stomach, or esophagus, will their blood tests at a checkup be great & normal? OR show indication of sickness?

If a person has cancer (of any kind), like stomach, or esophagus, will their blood tests at a checkup be great & normal? OR show indication of sickness?

Blood test may be: Normal. Blood tests usually do not detect cancers. Secondary effects of cancer may show in a blood test, such as anemia. A normal regular blood tests does not rule out cancer and an abnormal test does not mean cancer. Each cancer has its own diagnostic tests, and most require a biopsy reading by a pathologist. Read more

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Can a blood test find liver cancer? My mom gets regular liver function tests. I think because of cirrhosis, or maybe another liver problem. I’m afraid the disease will cause cancer. Will cancer show up on the blood tests?

Can a blood test find liver cancer? My mom gets regular liver function tests. I think because of cirrhosis, or maybe another liver problem. I’m afraid the disease will cause cancer. Will cancer show up on the blood tests?

Sometimes: The diagnosis of cancer is made generally initially by various kinds of imaging tests - ultrasound, radionuclide liver scans and ct or mri, usually in patients where there is already suspicion. There is a test, called AFP (alpha fetoprotein) which is sometimes followed in patients with cirrhosis to try to detect cancer early; however, other conditions also cause it to go up. The best test=biopsy. Read more

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Thyroid nodule at 3.4 x 4.7 x 2.3cm. Blood tests confirm all is normal. Ultrasound shows heterogeneous iso/small area hypechoic. Chances of cancer?

Thyroid nodule at 3.4 x 4.7 x 2.3cm. Blood tests confirm all is normal. Ultrasound shows heterogeneous iso/small area hypechoic. Chances of cancer?

Yes, some: You need to see an endocrinologist. Who would likely do a fine needle aspiration (fna) biopsy. Thyroid cancer needs to be ruled out by further testing. It has to be a consideration in your case. But thyroid cancer is easily treatable and highly curable (>95%). Read more

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Can my constant flu symptoms-body aches and fatigue- for past 5 mos. Mean cancer? Had many negative blood tests, only shows occasional low platelets.

Can my constant flu symptoms-body aches and fatigue- for past 5 mos. Mean cancer? Had many negative blood tests, only shows occasional low platelets.

Not likely: Not likely, however, fevers, weight loss and your symptoms as described in your question, make me want to do some addiitional testing-- for viral disease, as mononucleosis, immune deficiency, Lyme disease. If your primary doctor is not comfortable with your exam and history, may be reasonable to see an infectious disease doctor. Feel better. Read more

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Is there a cancer or tumor that does not show up on chest / stomach catscan - colonoscopy - endoscopy - X-rays - blood tests CBC panel - heart tests? I've ruled those out and I feel like a engine that's running out of oil. Lump feel in throat / ches

Is there a cancer or tumor that does not show up on chest / stomach catscan - colonoscopy - endoscopy - X-rays - blood tests CBC panel - heart tests? I've ruled those out and I feel like a engine that's running out of oil. Lump feel in throat / ches

All tests have limit: You must remember the predictions for this past election. If you only rely upon tests for something you are always letting yourself in for a letdown. You should read the new book by Michael Lewis "The Undoing Project", about 2 brilliant Israeli psychologists who investigated how we make decisions with uncertain information. Excellent and important book! Read more

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Blood tests for cancer? If so which tests?

Blood tests for cancer? If so which tests?

None: Unless specifically requested by your doctor. Each test is for a specific kind of cancer, but cannot be used for screening or used alone for diagnosis. Psa is a long discussion, does not apply to you. Read more

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Anc and what other blood tests indicate cancer?

Several tests: There is no specific blood test that means cancer unless the diagnosis is leukemia in which case the blood tests are most helpful. Anc is not a test to diagnose cancer, but is a test to see how many functioning white blood cells you have. Patients receiving chemo can see a drop in their anc and sometimes need a shot to raise it back up. Several blood tests can be used to follow cancer patients. Read more

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Can you tell me how precise is cancer blood tests?

Can you tell me how precise is cancer blood tests?

Setting?: In a patient with active cancer, these blood tests (I assume you are talking about tumor markers like CEA or CA27.29) are useful to see how the cancer responds to therapy. They are also used to follow up a patient in remission to detect if the cancer recurs (not as good for that). As screening for people who never had cancer, they are, with rare exceptions, useless and thus not recommended. Read more

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Which types of cancer are detected by blood tests?

Which types of cancer are detected by blood tests?

Variety: A variety of cancers can be detected by blood tests. In many cases, the blood test alone is not enough information to confirm the diagnoss; scans or biopsies may be necessary. These are the types of cancer where blood tests are helpful: liver, neuroendocrine, thyroid, colorectal, pancreatic, gastric, and ovarian to name a few. Read more

Blood Tests (Definition)

Blood is usually drawn from your ...Read more