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Dr. David
Dr. David, Doctor (MD)
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 45993
Experience:  Board Certified Oncologist
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Does cancer always show up on blood tests? My partner (36)

Resolved Question:

Does cancer always show up on blood tests? My partner (36) has been referred for a biopsy on a lump on his left breast, but had just had all the standard UK GP blood tests, as his symptoms seemed to be pointing to diabetes. All his blood tests were clear, would this be true if he had cancer? We are worried if the breast lump is cancerous, it is a secondary tumour - he has been feeling washed out and not great for six months.As a smoker for 20 years we obviously worry about lung cancer, but he had a chest x-ray in Nov 15 for another reason, surely a lung tumour would have shown on there? If he had metastatic cancer it would show in his bloods?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Oncology
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.

This is Dr. David

I am a cancer doctor

routine blood tests are not a good way to detect cancer in the body.

at his age, lung cancer and breast cancer are still very rare and unlikely.

he should quit smoking at this point.

there is a very very small chance he could have a primary breast cancer causing a lump in his breast. but this is very rare.

usually male breast cancer will cause blood to come from the nipple.

when is his breast biopsy?

what other questions do you have?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. His biopsy and ultrasound is next week. He had quit smoking for several months and now is so worried is smoking again!
No blood/discharge or changes to nipple - I noticed a very slight 'concave' look to the nipple this morning but his whole upper breast area is more swollen than usual for this last week. Is the overall swelling typical of cancer? The mass itself is not round but long, vertical, and the best way I can describe is like a three inch soft 'drinking straw' shape starting a few cm above the nipple. He only noticed this weird mass about two weeks ago. There is also a slight depression in the chest wall underneath it, it seems. My googling (probably not a good idea to google!) suggests that breast tumours are very rare to have as a secondary cancer, is that true? If it is a primary, we can deal with that much easier than a secondary, or worse.
I guess it all sounds like I'm freaking out too much, too early, but he's the centre of my world, and anything I can find out to educate both of us on this, I will do anything I can. It's impossible not to worry about it while we wait, and I'd rather be worrying away about facts from a doctor, and not speculation, so that's why I'm here! :-)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Edit: The mass is not rigidly fixed, we can move it around to a certain extent. There is no pain, and we can't find any swollen lymph nodes under the arm.
Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.

google is not a good idea

it could be a blocked breast duct in his breast causing the mass.

what he needs a breast ultarsound which can tell more information and see if it looks like a blocked breast duct or invasive breast cancer.

much more likely to be a blocked breast duct.

try some warm compresses or warm towels on the breast and see if that helps.

let me know if you have other questions.

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Expert:  Dr. David replied 1 year ago.

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