Is there a blood test to detect cancer?

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Is there a blood test to detect cancer?

What is cancer?

Cancer is a number of related conditions that are characterized by a breakdown of the body's normal process of cellular production and growth.  When cancer develops, new cells divide and reproduce unnecessarily, abnormal cells develop, and damaged cells survive when they would normally break down and die.  Many forms of cancer cause the development of tumors, masses of tissue that can spread to and invade other tissues.  There is often a risk of cancer cells traveling to other parts of the body and forming more tumors.  Some of the most common types of cancer, accounting for almost half of all cases, are breast, lung, prostate, and colorectal. It is estimated that this year, the USA will see almost 2 million new cancer cases and over 600,000 deaths.

Is there a blood test to detect cancer?

In many cases, identifying and diagnosing cancer early is essential to effective treatment.  Unfortunately, there is no simple test that can definitively determine if a person has cancer or not.  Diagnosing cancer is often an involved process requiring multiple types of tests and consultations with your doctor.  However, there are a number of blood tests that can provide information on what is going on inside your body and help find warning signs that may require follow up.  These tests can look at measurements related to your immune system or specific antigens (proteins) that are associated with some cancer types.  Blood tests can be a good first step for people who are having unusual symptoms or are concerned about their risk of developing cancer.  It is important to remember that irregular test results are not a medical diagnosis.  Any testing that shows something out of the ordinary should be followed up with a doctor who can interpret the results and help develop a plan for what to do next.  Bloodwork also cannot rule out cancer, even if all of your results are normal.  If you have reason to suspect your health is at risk, it is important to get the opinion of a medical professional.

Which blood tests can detect cancer?

One of the most common tests for people who are concerned about cancer is a Complete Blood Count (CBC).  A CBC measures several components of the blood including red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, hemoglobin, and hematocrit.  Irregular results from a CBC can be indicative of a number of health issues including various types of cancer.  If your CBC shows something out of the ordinary, further testing will be necessary to help narrow down the cause.

Many types of cancer cells contain proteins that can be detected by blood testing.  Results from these tests can help to show if someone is at higher risk from certain types of cancer.  Blood marker testing is sometimes recommended for people who have risk factors such as a family history of certain types of cancer.  These tests can also be very helpful for people who have already been diagnosed with monitoring their condition or seeing how well they are responding to treatment.   

Some of the common cancer marker tests include:

How do I order a blood test to detect cancer?

If you are looking for cancer-related blood testing that is affordable and easy to order, Request A Test is here to help.  We're committed to making labwork accessible to everyone without breaking the bank.  Our test menu features an extensive selection of cancer tests as well as hundreds of other tests in categories like heart health, diabetes, nutrition, men's health, and women's health.  You can choose one or more individual blood tests for cancer or pick a package that combines multiple tests for additional savings.

There is no insurance required and no need to schedule a doctor's visit just to get a lab order.  If you are ready to take charge of your health, visit us online at www.requestatest.com.  Or call us during business hours at 1-888-732-2348 where there will always be an associate ready to help you find the right test or assist with placing an order.  Take the first step on your testing journey today.

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