Does a routine blood test check for cancer?

Not exactly. Except for blood cancers, a blood test cannot confirm whether you have cancer or not. However, a blood test can give a hint of cancer to your doctor.

If your doctor has prescribed a blood test to you, it does not confirm that you have cancer in any manner. The blood test provides hints that help doctors prescribe further tests that can confirm cancer.

Your doctor can prescribe you a Complete Blood Count (CBC) test to see if there are too many or too few abnormal blood cells in the body. Besides this, your doctor can also prescribe electrophoresis to test protein in the blood. This blood protein testing can find abnormal proteins, also called immunoglobulins, that cause cancer.

Another test your doctor may recommend is Tumor markers, as they are produced by cancer cells. In some cases, normal cells can also produce the tumour marker. Due to this, the tumour marker test is not preferred by doctors.

Recently, a test called Circulating Tumor Cell that finds cancer cells floating in the bloodstream has been discussed widely among researchers. Although the test has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Circulating Tumor Cell test holds great possibilities in the future.

If you show a positive result for your prescribed test, your doctor can ask you for a bone marrow biopsy to confirm cancer.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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