Oncological blood tests and other laboratory tests can help both dentists in Tijuana and doctors diagnose cancer, of any kind. If you suspect that you may have cancer, your doctor may order specific oncological blood tests or other laboratory tests, such as a urinalysis or a biopsy of a suspicious area, to help guide the diagnosis.
Except for blood cancers, in general, blood tests can not completely determine if you have cancer or any other non-cancerous disease, but they can give the doctor clues about what is happening to your body.
The fact that the doctor has indicated you oncological blood tests to look for signs of cancer, quiet that does not mean that you have made a diagnosis of disease or that you have cancer.
The samples collected for blood tests are analyzed to detect signs of cancer. The samples may contain cancer cells, proteins and other substances produced by cancer. Blood tests can also let the doctor know how your organs are working and whether they have been affected by cancer.
Some examples of blood tests to diagnose cancer are:
Complete blood count. This routine blood test measures the amount of various types of blood cells in a blood sample. Cases of cancer in the blood can be detected with this test if too many or too few blood cells are found, or if abnormal cells are found. A bone marrow biopsy can help confirm a diagnosis of blood cancer.
Analysis of proteins in the blood. A study (electrophoresis) used to analyze the various proteins present in the blood can help detect specific abnormal proteins of the immune system (immunoglobulins) that sometimes appear at a high level in people with multiple myeloma. Other tests, such as a bone marrow biopsy, are used to confirm a suspected diagnosis.
Testing of tumor markers. Tumor markers are chemicals synthesized by tumor cells that can be detected in the blood.
However, tumor markers are also produced by some normal cells of the body, and levels can be markedly elevated in non-cancerous disorders. This limits the potential of tumor marker tests to help diagnose cancer. Only in extremely rare cases would such a test be considered sufficient to diagnose cancer.
The results of the analyzes must be interpreted with care, since several factors can influence them, such as the variations that take place in the body, or even what you eat.
Also, remember that non-cancerous diseases can sometimes give abnormal results. In other cases, cancer may be present even though the results of the blood tests are normal.
The doctor reviews the results of the analysis to determine if the levels fell within normal values. You can also compare your results with previous ones.