Does Cancer Show Up In Routine Blood Work
When you visit a doctor, say for weakness and fatigue or for some other common complaint like headache, body ache or nausea and vomiting, the first thing your doctor might advise is a routine blood work up.
Although a routine blood workup may sound like a very basic investigation, it speaks loads about the general health status of a person. Several blood parameters of a routine blood workup have some important significance and this is the reason why it is given so much importance primarily.
Once the routine blood workup shows some striking abnormality, only then further blood investigations will be advised to detect and diagnose cancerous and non-cancerous conditions.
Also, since a routine blood test is the first thing to be advised by your doctor, certain parameters can even strengthen the suspicion of cancer at an early stage. This in return increases the chances of survival and also increases the array of treatment methods.
How Is Prostate Cancer Detected
There is no single test to detect prostate cancer. The two most common tests are the prostate specific antigen blood test and the digital rectal examination .
The PSA test measures the level of PSA in your blood. It does not specifically test for cancer. Virtually all PSA is produced by the prostate gland. The normal range depends on your age. A PSA above the typical range may indicate the possibility of prostate cancer. However, two-thirds of cases of elevated PSA are due to noncancerous conditions such as prostatitis and BPH.
A DRE is generally conducted by a urologist to feel the prostate. While DRE is no longer recommended as a routine test for men who do not have symptoms of prostate cancer, it may be used to check for any changes in the prostate before doing a biopsy.
If either of these tests suggest an abnormality, other tests are necessary to confirm a diagnosis of prostate cancer, usually a magnetic resonance imaging scan and transrectal ultrasound biopsy.
The Initial Causes Does Prostate Cancer Show Up In Blood Work
One of the first symptoms of prostate issues is pain or tenderness in the groin or lower back. This can be the result of a noncancerous condition called enlarged prostatic tissue, or it could be an infection of the bladder. In either case, its important to see a doctor as soon as possible. If youre suffering from prostate pain, you may want to consider reducing your caffeine intake.
Another symptom of a potentially enlarged prostate is difficulty starting a stream of urine, leaking, or dribbling. These symptoms are not serious, but theyre still alarming. Most men put up with an enlarged prostate for years before seeking medical attention, but they typically seek treatment as soon as they notice symptoms. Even if you dont have symptoms, its worth getting checked to determine if you have any prostate issues.
If you experience nightly bathroom runs, you may be experiencing an enlarged prostate. You may be having difficulty starting a stream of urine, or you may even be dribbling or leaking during the day. These problems arent life-threatening, but can become a nuisance. You should not ignore these signs and seek treatment as soon as you notice them. If you feel any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor.
Recommended Reading: How High Is Psa In Prostate Cancer
Imaging Tests For Prostate Cancer
Imaging tests use x-rays, magnetic fields, sound waves, or radioactive substances to create pictures of the inside of your body. One or more imaging tests might be used:
- To look for cancer in the prostate
- To help the doctor see the prostate during certain procedures
- To look for spread of prostate cancer to other parts of the body
Which tests you might need will depend on the situation. For example, a prostate biopsy is typically done with transrectal ultrasound and/or MRI to help guide the biopsy. If you are found to have prostate cancer, you might need imaging tests of other parts of your body to look for possible cancer spread.
The imaging tests used most often to look for prostate cancer spread include:
What You Need To Know About The Prostate Does Blood Work Show Prostate Cancer
The main purpose of the prostate is to produce semen, a milky fluid that sperm swims in. During puberty, the body produces semen in a large number of cases, including enlarged prostate. This fluid causes the prostate to swell and cause a number of bladder-related symptoms. This is why the prostate is important to the body. It can be caused by many factors, including infection and inflammation.
A enlarged prostate can also cause blockages in the urethra. A blocked urethra can also damage the kidneys. A patient suffering from an enlargement of the prostate may have pain in his lower abdomen and genitals. If pain is present, a digital rectal examination will reveal hard areas. A doctor may prescribe surgery or perform an endoscopic procedure. If the enlarged prostate is not completely removed, it will shrink.
While the size of an enlarged prostate will influence the extent of urinary symptoms, men may experience a range of urinary symptoms. Some men have minimal or no symptoms at all. Some men will have a very enlarged prostate, whereas others will have a mild enlargement. Generally, the symptoms can stabilize over time. Some men may have an enlarged prostate but not notice it. If they have an enlarged colon, their physician can perform a TURP procedure.
Recommended Reading: Can Young Men Get Prostate Cancer
What Can I Expect During A Blood Test
Collecting a sample for a blood test takes only a few minutes. In an office, clinic, lab or hospital, your healthcare provider will:
How Do I Prepare For Urine Collection For Cytology Tests
- Certain foods such as sugar beets, blackberries, or rhubarb can color urine and made it appear like it contains blood so avoid eating any of them prior to the test.
- Tell your doctor if you are on medication such as vitamin B, Pyridium and Dilantin an . These drugs will also color the urine.
- If your monthly cycle falls within the date you are ask to give a urine sample, let your doctor know, so you can be re-schedule to give your urine sample at a later date.
- Drink enough water prior to giving a urine sample so you can have enough urine volume give midstream urine.
Recommended Reading: What Does The Prostate Gland Do During Ejaculation
How Are Samples Collected
Requirements for urine sampling vary depending on the test/s being performed. Often the timing of collection is random, as dictated by the logistics of a doctor consult or access to a laboratory service. However, depending on the purpose of the test, certain urine voids of the day may be preferred. Collection of urine from all voids over a defined time period or sample collection at specific times after eating may also be necessary.
Urine samples are usually obtained by spontaneous voiding, using the clean-catch, midstream urine collection method. This involves voiding the first portion of urine into the toilet, collecting the midstream portion into a clean container, then voiding the remaining portion into the toilet. This method greatly reduces the risk of contaminants entering the sample. Less commonly, an invasive method of urine collection, such as placement of a urinary catheter, may be required.
Learn about Cxbladders easy-to-use in-home sampling system
Screening For Prostate Cancer
There is no national screening programme for prostate cancer in the UK. This is because there isnt a reliable test that can pick up prostate cancer that needs treatment at an early stage.
Overall research has shown that current tests dont reduce the number of men dying from prostate cancer. Research is going on to find a new test. Or see if the current test is more effective if used in a different way and can find the cancers that need treatment more accurately.
Don’t Miss: Can Zytiga Cure Prostate Cancer
Do Routine Blood Tests Detect Cancer
Routine blood work can detect early signs of cancers, particularly blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma. Routine blood tests are recommended for healthy individuals. They can also give insight into organ function, diet, metabolism, and even detect signs of cancer. Four types of blood tests detect cancer, as explained in this article.
What To Do If You Are Worried About Prostate Cancer
Talk to your GP if you’re worried about prostate cancer. Or if you have urinary symptoms such as difficulty passing urine. The symptoms don’t mean that you have prostate cancer, but it is important to get them checked.
Adult screening programme Prostate cancerUK National Screening Committee, Last accessed March 20222
Screening for prostate cancer. External review against programme appraisal criteria for the UK National Screening CommitteeUK National Screening Committee, October 2020
Prostate cancer: ESMO clinical practice guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow upC Parker and others
You May Like: Is Whey Protein Good For Prostate
What Is A Normal Psa Test Result
There is no specific normal or abnormal level of PSA in the blood. In the past, PSA levels of 4.0 ng/mL and lower were considered normal. However, some individuals with PSA levels below 4.0 ng/mL have prostate cancer and many with higher PSA levels between 4 and 10 ng/mL do not have prostate cancer .
In addition, various factors can cause someones PSA level to fluctuate. For example, the PSA level tends to increase with age, prostate gland size, and inflammation or infection. A recent prostate biopsy will also increase the PSA level, as can ejaculation or vigorous exercise in the 2 days before testing. Conversely, some drugsincluding finasteride and dutasteride, which are used to treat BPHlower the PSA level.
In general, however, the higher a mans PSA level, the more likely it is that he has prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer: Advancements In Screenings
You may know thatprostate canceris one of the most common cancer types in men. The good news is that thereare many treatment and management options, even if the cancer is caught ata later stage.
What you may not know: There are several options when it comes toprostate cancer screening. After considering multiple factors, your doctor may recommend theprostate-specific antigen test, and/or one of the newer screeningtests that are now available.
Johns Hopkins urologistChristian Pavlovich, M.D., explains what you should know.
Also Check: Can Prostate Cancer Spread To The Brain
Medical History And Physical Exam
If your doctor suspects you might have prostate cancer, you will be asked about symptoms you are having, such as any urinary or sexual problems, and how long you have had them. You might also be asked about possible risk factors, including your family history.
Your doctor will also examine you. This might include a digital rectal exam , during which the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum to feel for any bumps or hard areas on the prostate that might be cancer. If you do have cancer, the DRE can sometimes help tell if its only on one side of the prostate, if its on both sides, or if its likely to have spread beyond the prostate to nearby tissues. Your doctor may also examine other areas of your body.
After the exam, your doctor might then order some tests.
Positron Emission Tomography Scan
A PET scan is similar to a bone scan, in that a slightly radioactive substance is injected into the blood, which can then be detected with a special camera. But PET scans use different tracers that collect mainly in cancer cells. The most common tracer for standard PET scans is FDG, which is a type of sugar. Unfortunately, this type of PET scan isnt very useful in finding prostate cancer cells in the body.
However, newer tracers, such as fluciclovine F18, sodium fluoride F18, and choline C11, have been found to be better at detecting prostate cancer cells.
Other newer tracers, such as Ga 68 PSMA-11, 18F-DCFPyl , and Ga 68 gozetotide , attach to prostate-specific membrane antigen , a protein that is often found in large amounts on prostate cancer cells. Tests using these types of tracers are sometimes referred to as PSMA PET scans.
These newer types of PET scans are most often used if its not clear if prostate cancer has spread. For example, one of these tests might be done if the results of a bone scan arent clear, or if a man has a rising PSA level after initial treatment but its not clear where the cancer is in the body. PSMA PET scans can also be used to help determine if the cancer can be treated with a radiopharmaceutical that targets PSMA.
Doctors are still learning about the best ways to use these newer types of PET scans, and some of them might not be available yet in all imaging centers.
Also Check: Does Prostatitis Go Away Without Treatment
Information Gained From Blood Tests For Cancer
Blood testing is one of the many tools that doctors use to diagnose and manage cancer. Blood tests provide information about:
- Overall health status
- Abnormal levels of chemicals and proteins in your blood that may indicate cancer
- High or low blood cell count
- Treatment options depending on the type and severity of cancer
- If cancer has come back
- Whether treatment is working or the disease is further developing
Although blood tests are useful in cancer diagnosis, other tests are necessary to confirm a diagnosis. Other tests to diagnose cancer include biopsies, x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, physical exams, mammograms, and pap smears.
How Prostate Cancer Is Diagnosed
There are many tests used for diagnosing prostate cancer. Not all tests described here are commonly used for every person. Your doctor may consider these factors when choosing a diagnostic test:
The type of cancer suspected
Your signs and symptoms
Your age and general health
The results of earlier medical tests
You May Like: Is Aloe Vera Good For Enlarged Prostate
Tests To Find Bladder Cancer
To find bladder cancer, doctors may run tests to see whether there are certain substancessuch as bloodin the urine. Tests may include:
- Urine cytology
- Urine culture
For patients who have symptoms or have had bladder cancer in the past, newer tests that look for tumor markers in urine may include:
- NMP22 BladderChek®
Researchers dont know yet whether these tests are reliable enough to be used for screening, but they may help find some bladder cancers.
Most doctors recommend a cystoscopy to find bladder cancer, and its often performed without anesthesia. During this procedure, the doctor inserts a long, thin tube with a camera into the urethra to see the inside of the bladder for growths and collect a tissue sample . The tissue is studied in a lab to search for cancer and obtain more information. During a cystoscopy, doctors may also perform a fluorescence cystoscopy, or blue light cystoscopy, inserting a light-activated drug into the bladder and seeing whether any cancer cells glow when they shine a blue light through the tube.
Doctors may also order imaging tests to see whether the cancer has spread. The most common imaging tests include:
Magnetic resonance imaging uses magnets and radio waves to take pictures of the inside of the body. Before the test, a contrast medium is administered orally or by injection to help make the scan clearer.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to take pictures of the inside of the body.
Repeating The Psa Test
A mans blood PSA level can vary over time , so some doctors recommend repeating the test after a month or so if the initial PSA result is abnormal. This is most likely to be a reasonable option if the PSA level is on the lower end of the borderline range . For higher PSA levels, doctors are more likely to recommend getting other tests, or going straight to a prostate biopsy.
Don’t Miss: Why Do Black Men Get Prostate Cancer
Early Detection Saves Lives
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting Australian men .
Prostate cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the prostate gland. This gland is only found in males and is about the size of a walnut.
The causes of prostate cancer are not understood and there is currently no clear prevention strategy.
Diagnosis Of Prostate Cancer
Check out this factsheet for a summary of the video.
Diagnosis is the process of finding out the cause of a health problem. Diagnosing prostate cancer usually begins with a visit to your family doctor. Your doctor will ask you about any symptoms you have and do a physical exam. Based on this information, your doctor may refer you to a specialist called a urologist or order tests to check for prostate cancer or other health problems. A urologist is a doctor who specializes in treating conditions of the genital and urinary tracts, including the prostate.
The process of diagnosis may seem long and frustrating. It’s normal to worry, but try to remember that other health conditions can cause similar symptoms as prostate cancer. It’s important for the healthcare team to rule out other reasons for a health problem before making a diagnosis of prostate cancer.
The following tests are usually used to rule out or diagnose prostate cancer. Many of the same tests used to diagnose cancer are used to find out the stage . Your doctor may also order other tests to check your general health and to help plan your treatment.
Read Also: What Happens If Prostate Is Removed