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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19325
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Would a standard blood test reveal any cancers

Customer Question

would a standard blood test reveal any cancers
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.
Hello from JustAnswer. No, not really, at least not for detecting cancer at an early stage. There are certain standard blood tests that can be abnormal from cancer. For example, iron deficiency anemia is concerning that it could be due to colon cancer, and abnormal liver tests can be abnormal from cancer arising in or spreading to the liver. But these tests are certainly not specific, as someone can become iron deficient from other sources of blood loss, such as ulcers, and there is a long list of conditions that are not cancerous that can cause abnormal liver tests. There is no standard blood test that is good at detecting early cancer of any organ. Most cancers will usually cause abnormal blood tests as the cancer becomes more advanced, but the majority of cancers will not cause any abnormal standard blood tests early in the course of illness. There are some specific blood tests that are used to screen for cancer, such as a PSA to screen for prostate cancer. However, even the PSA will only detect people in whom there is a greater risk for cancer being present, as benign enlargement of the prostate also can cause an elevated PSA. If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.