Cancer is one of the most important causes of death in the world. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery are used to treat this disease. The best results are usually obtained when the doctor diagnoses and treats the disease early. If it is possible to diagnose cancer with a blood test, the disease can be diagnosed very quickly. However, the fact is that no reliable blood tests are yet available to diagnose cancer.
In this article, we look at the blood tests that a doctor usually uses to diagnose cancer. We then answer the question of whether it is possible to have a blood test at home. Join us.
Can cancer be diagnosed with a blood test?
A doctor can use a blood test to diagnose cancer. But with the exception of leukemia, a blood test cannot tell exactly if you have cancer. A blood test only gives the doctor clues about what is going on in your body.
When you see a doctor, he or she will recommend a blood test to assess your overall health. . It then compares the result of a blood test with normal values and determines whether these results are abnormal.
Currently, several different blood tests must be performed to diagnose cancer. Researchers are trying to diagnose cancer with a single blood test. For this reason, they are researching tests that can detect different types of cancer with just one blood sample.
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Which blood test is used to diagnose cancer?
If you suspect you have cancer, we recommend the following tests:
Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC)
CBC is one of the most common tests performed by a doctor. The CBC test measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood. An increase or decrease in CBC indicates that there is a problem in the body. Leukemia may be diagnosed with this test. But bone marrow sampling is usually needed to confirm the diagnosis.
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2. Blood Protein Test
This test helps detect abnormal immune system proteins (immunoglobulins). Sometimes these proteins are elevated in people with multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that affects the bone marrow. If the blood protein test result is abnormal, bone marrow is usually sampled to confirm cancer.
3. Tumor markers Tumor markers are a group of chemicals made by
tumor cells that are found in the blood. These chemicals may also
be produced by some of the body's normal cells, and their levels
may increase significantly in non-cancerous diseases. This limits
the potential for the use of tumor markers to diagnose cancer.
Only in rare cases does the use of tumor markers for definitive diagnosis of cancer seem sufficient. The best way to use these markers in the diagnosis of cancer has not been determined. On the other hand, the use of some tumor markers has caused a great deal of controversy among researchers. The most important tumor markers are:
- Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) for the diagnosis of prostate cancer
- Cancer Antigen 125 (CA 125) for the diagnosis of ovarian cancer
- Alpha-phytoprotein (AFP) for the diagnosis of liver cancer
- Human placental gonadotropin (HCG) for the detection of germ cell tumors such as testicular cancer and ovarian cancer li>
4. Test for circulating tumor cells
This test is used to identify cells that have been isolated from the original site of cancer. And enter the bloodstream, is used. One of these tests has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to monitor patients with breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer. But this test is not usually used in the clinical setting.
Is the diagnosis of cancer definitive with a blood test?
The result of the blood test should be interpreted carefully. Because various factors such as diet affect it. On the other hand, sometimes non-cancerous diseases also cause abnormal test results. For this reason, your doctor will use other methods, such as imaging and biopsy, to confirm the results of your blood test.
What other methods are used to diagnose cancer?
At present, it is not possible to diagnose cancer with a blood test alone. For this reason, in addition to blood tests, the doctor uses imaging, tumor biopsy, surgery, endoscopy, and physical examination to confirm the diagnosis. Imaging helps diagnose tumors and other abnormalities, assess the extent of the disease, and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. Medical imaging technology includes the following:
- CT scans
- Mammography >
- MRI scans
Sometimes your doctor will measure chemicals in your blood, such as electrolytes, blood sugar, cholesterol, and hormones. The amount of these chemicals helps assess the function of various organs in the body, including the liver, kidneys, lungs, and heart.
Can you get tested for cancer at home?
Have a blood test It is not possible to diagnose cancer at home. Because this requires special laboratory facilities. However, you can use self-tests to detect any changes or abnormalities in your body. If you notice an abnormal change during the test, consult your doctor as soon as possible.
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Self-examination is involved in the early detection of skin cancer. When self-examining the skin, you should look at all parts of the body, even the lower legs and armpits. You can use the mirror to examine places that are difficult to see. During the skin self-examination, you should be careful about the following:
- A wound that has not healed after a few weeks.
- New blemishes or bumps on the skin
- Wart lesions such as
- new moles or changes in the shape, size and color of old moles
- moles with irregular margins or strange appearance
Regular breast self-examination can help detect breast cancer early. To self-examine your breasts, follow these steps:
- Look at your breasts in the mirror while placing your hands on your hips and keeping your shoulders straight.
- Check the shape, size and color of the breasts. Make sure there are no signs of wrinkles, dimples or bumps on the breast skin. Make sure the nipple is not disfigured or inverted (pulled inward). Also, do not experience pain, discoloration, swelling, or skin rashes.
- Raise your arms. Look at the breasts and repeat all the previous steps.
- Check if fluid comes out of the nipple.
- Lie down and cover the entire breast from top to bottom. Touch from right to left in a circular motion. Examine the entire chest from the collarbone to the top of the abdomen and from the armpits or central part of the body.
- Stand up and repeat all the work done in the previous step.
Testicular self-examination is effective in early detection of testicular cancer. For this reason, it is recommended that men do this once a month. Testicular self-examination has 4 steps:
- Gently rotate and examine each testicle in one hand.
- Find the epididymis, a soft, tubular structure like the back of the testicle. Familiarity with the location of the epididymis prevents you from mistakenly considering it an abnormal mass.
- Look for a mass or any abnormality in the testicles.
- Look for changes in Be the shape, size or texture of the testicles.
What questions should you ask your doctor?
If you notice anything suspicious during your self-examination, you should tell your doctor. The best questions you can ask your doctor are:
- Is it abnormal to have a lump, lump, or mole?
- Are these changes to be diagnosed as cancerous? Should I have other tests?
- What kind of tests do I need?
If your blood test shows signs of cancer, you can ask your doctor the following questions: p>
- Is it possible for a positive test result to be false (incorrect)?
- What tests should I do next?
- Do I need a test or do I need to do several different tests?
- At what stage is it determined that I have cancer?
- Should I continue to pursue this issue?
Researchers are trying to find new ways to diagnose cancer with blood tests. But at present, there is no single test that can detect cancer. However, your doctor will use several different blood tests to diagnose the condition. Blood tests, along with other diagnostic methods such as imaging and biopsy, are usually used to accurately diagnose the disease.
You cannot diagnose cancer at home. However, regular self-examinations can help diagnose the disease early. Self-examination of the breast, testicles and skin can be easily performed at home and is useful in diagnosing abnormalities. If you notice abnormal changes such as a lump or lump during the self-examination, you should see a doctor.This is for educational and informational purposes only. Be sure to consult a specialist before using the recommendations in this article. For more information, read the BingMag Meg Disclaimer .