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Can a doctor determine if I have cancer with a blood test?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology

In brief: Basically no

We all wish it were that easy.
The leukemias usually show on a complete blood count. Tumor markers are poor screening tools as they generate more false than true positives and the workups themselves cause health problems. Your history and physical exam and your routine cancer screening are the best we've got now. If you have a disabling fear of cancer, we can help you manage it.

In brief: Basically no

We all wish it were that easy.
The leukemias usually show on a complete blood count. Tumor markers are poor screening tools as they generate more false than true positives and the workups themselves cause health problems. Your history and physical exam and your routine cancer screening are the best we've got now. If you have a disabling fear of cancer, we can help you manage it.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Dr. Ed Friedlander
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