It is possible to spot cancer even through blood tests. However, these results should be accompanied with other related tests for a complete diagnosis. The doctors may generally recommend what is called the tumor marker tests. These tests detect certain types of chemicals that are produced by cancer cells.
Routine blood tests such as the CBC test may be able to show whether the white blood cells are at the required level or whether there are any changes in them. Some types of blood cancer can be detected with the help of this test, but for the cancer of the other organs, the same cannot be said. Another test that can help detect blood cancer is the blood protein test in which the various proteins of the body are examined and in case there is an elevated level of immunoglobulin, it would suggest the presence of some type of blood cancer. In both these tests, a bone marrow biopsy needs to done to confirm the diagnosis.
Besides this, there are also tumor marker tests which can detect the chemicals made by tumor cells. But the use of this particular method is controversial as these chemicals can be produced even under non cancerous conditions. Hence, the reliability of these tests may be questionable. Some of the common tumor marker tests are prostate-specific-antigen for prostate cancer, alpha-fetoprotein for liver cancer and cancer antigen 125 for ovarian cancer. Sometimes, tumor marker levels are monitored over a period of time and tests may be conducted again after some months.
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