Can Cancer Be Detected In Blood?

Can cancer be detected in blood? How is it done? HealthoWealth has provided you with the answer in this article. If your doctor suspects cancer after a physical exam or a medical history, he or she may prescribe cancer blood tests to help with the diagnosis. Tumor markers are the name for these blood tests. Tumor markers may be elevated in specific tumors, providing insight into the origins of the disease and whether it is responding to treatment. On the other hand, these tests are neither specific nor sensitive to certain malignancies.

Can cancer be detected in blood? How accurate is it?

Other blood tests may be requested. While they may not be able to detect cancer or benign tumors, they can provide a basic picture of how the organ is working and whether it has been damaged by malignancy.

Tests for tumor markers

Tumor markers are substances present in the blood that are produced by cancer cells. Normal cells in the body also produce tumor markers, and their levels can rise dramatically in noncancerous circumstances. The following are some examples of tumor markers:

  • PSA stands for prostate-specific antigen and is used to diagnose prostate cancer.
  • CA-125, a cancer antigen, is used to treat ovarian cancer.
  • Calcitonin for the treatment of medullary thyroid carcinoma
  • For liver cancer and testicular cancer, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is used.
  • For germ cell malignancies like testicular cancer and ovarian cancer, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is used.
  • For colon malignancies, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is used.
  • For ovarian cancer, human epididymis protein 4 (HE4) and inhibin

Tumor cell testing in the blood

Tumor cell testing in the blood
Tumor cell testing in the blood

Blood tests that have recently been developed can detect tumor cells that have separated from their initial cancer location and are now circulating in the bloodstream. One circulating tumor cell test has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) for monitoring persons with breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer. These tests, on the other hand, are rarely employed in clinical settings.

Testing for proteins in the blood

Electrophoresis is a blood test that looks at different proteins. This can aid in the identification of specific immunoglobulins that are increased in multiple myeloma patients. A bone marrow biopsy can assist confirm a blood cancer diagnosis.

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a full blood count (CBC)

for the answer to Can cancer be detected in blood, you should know that The doctor can use a full blood count to:

  • Some blood malignancies, such as leukemia and lymphoma, can be diagnosed.
  • Check to see if cancer has spread to the bone marrow.
  • Take note of how a person’s body responds to cancer treatment.
  • Other noncancerous disorders should be diagnosed.

The CBC results are interpreted as follows:

Low white blood cell count

Cancer treatment reduces the number of white blood cells in the body. White blood cell counts are also lowered by leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

Low red blood cell count

Chemotherapy and radiation treatments can cause a reduction in red blood cell count (anemia). Cancer leaking into the stomach, which is common in stomach cancer, could potentially produce a low red blood cell count.

Variation in the number of white blood cells

Abnormal lymphocytes or monocytes can suggest the presence of malignancy.

Low platelet count

Cancer of the bone marrow can cause a reduction in platelet count. A bone marrow biopsy can assist confirm a blood cancer diagnosis.

Can cancer be detected in blood? Try Urinalysis

Urinalysis is a laboratory test that looks for red blood cells, white blood cells, infection, and too much protein in the urine. Blood in the urine could be a sign of something harmless, but it could also be a sign of something more serious.

Other blood tests to consider are:

  • Alkaline phosphatase is a protein that aids in the diagnosis of liver and bone cancers.
  • Extremely high ferritin levels can suggest Hodgkin’s disease or leukemia.
  • Thyroglobulin levels that are elevated may indicate follicular carcinoma.

Can cancer be detected in blood but from a colon kind?

Colon cancer cannot be detected by a blood test.
Colon cancer cannot be detected by a blood test.

Colon cancer cannot be detected by a blood test. Your doctor, on the other hand, may request blood tests to gain a better picture of your overall health and utilize other screening procedures to search for indicators of colon cancer.

A blood test for a chemical called carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), which is produced by some colon cancer cells, may be recommended by your doctor.

When the level of CEA in your blood is measured over time, it can help your doctor figure out how well you’re responding to treatment and whether your cancer is responding to it. This test, however, is not unique to colon cancer and can be negative in other forms of colon malignancies as well.

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It’s worth noting that Taiwanese researchers are working on a blood test that can detect colon cancer. CTCs (circulating tumor cells) are detected in the blood by this test. The blood test detected colon cancer in 87 percent of cases, ranging from stage I to stage IV, according to the study. The blood test also detected 77 percent of precancerous lesions, indicating that the disease was still in its early stages.

While these preliminary findings are encouraging, the test’s sensitivity is still lacking. In addition, the study’s patient population is tiny. As a result, the test is not yet available in the United States.

what types of colon cancer screening procedures are available?

Occult blood test in the feces (FOBT)

A fecal occult blood test (FOBT) may be recommended by your doctor to screen for colon cancer. FOBT is a test that uses a microscope to look for blood in the feces (solid waste). A little sample of stool is collected and sent to the doctor or laboratory for testing on a particular card or in a special container.

While blood in the stool can be an indication of colon cancer, it can also be a sign of infections, polyps, traumas, or other noncancerous disorders. FOBTs are divided into two categories:

Guaiac FOBT

A sample of stool is deposited on a specific card, which is then chemically analyzed. The special card changes color if there is blood in the feces.

A liquid is added to the stool sample for immunochemical FOBT. This mixture is injected into a machine that detects blood in the feces with antibodies. A line shows on the machine’s window if there is blood in the feces. The fecal immunochemical test is another name for this test (FIT).


Cologuard is a new colon cancer screening procedure that combines a FIT test with a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test to detect advanced precancerous polyps or existent colon cancer. Cells from the lining of the large intestine shed and move through the feces on a regular basis. Cells from cancerous polyps in the large intestine are shed and can be found in the stool if there are cancerous polyps present. In these shed cells, Cologuard checks for DNA linked to colon cancer, as well as the presence of blood in the stool.


A colonoscopy is a procedure in which a gastroenterologist (a doctor who specializes in the intestines) examines the inside of the large intestine (colon) for particular indicators of colon cancer, such as polyps (abnormal growths that could turn into cancer).

A thin, flexible tube with a camera and a light attached to the end (called a colonoscope) is frequently inserted into the rectum and colon by the doctor.

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If polyps are discovered, the doctor may remove them and send them to a laboratory for additional testing. The findings of these tests will reveal if the polyp is malignant or benign.

Colonography using computed tomography (CT)

CT colonography, also known as virtual colonography, is a procedure that employs CT technology to create several cross-sectional images of the intestine.

On a computer, these photos are merged to create detailed views of the full length of the colon. These images are used by the doctor to detect polyps or abnormal tissue that could be malignant or precancerous.

The colon is slightly inflated with air to collect tiny flaws in the wall. This is accomplished by gently introducing a tiny tube into the rectum.

This is a diagnostic assessment, not a therapeutic one. This implies that CT can detect lesions like polyps or tumors but not eliminate them. Any lesions that look to be suspicious will necessitate a colonoscopy screening for removal or tissue collection.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy

Colonoscopies using flexible sigmoidoscopy are essentially limited colonoscopies. This procedure uses the same equipment as a colonoscopy, but just the left side of the colon is inspected.

This exam is less intrusive than a colonoscopy, has less risks, and may usually be performed without anesthesia because the Polyp removal or biopsies can be done during the test, just like a colonoscopy.

The rest of the colon is not checked because this exam primarily looks at the more distant colon lesions.

Enema with barium

During this technique, a series of X-rays of the lower gastrointestinal system is routinely analyzed.

The rectum is filled with a liquid containing barium (a silver-white metallic compound). The lower gastrointestinal tract is coated with barium, and X-rays are taken. The lower gastrointestinal series is another name for this operation. e low level of pain.

So can cancer be detected in blood? The answer is partly. Some yes and some no. but you should always take the precautions and start the treatment if there ever happens to seem anything serious.

If, after reading the article “Can cancer be detected in blood?“, you liked it and became interested in studying in other fields of health and medicine, we suggest you read the following articles from the category cancer on our website.


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HealthoWealth Team

A group of students from prestigious universities are present in Healthowealth team. This group use reliable scientific sources and work under the supervision of experts and specialists to gather beneficial info in a simple way for public usage. This info is collected from authentic sources and with great precision, but keep in mind that if you have a serious illness, at first visit a specialist to be treated by doctors order. At least avoid self-medications!

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