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Will Blood Work Show Breast Cancer

Stage Of Breast Cancer

Do Doctors Perform Blood Work After a Breast Cancer Diagnosis?

When breast cancer is diagnosed, your doctors will give it a stage. The stage describes the size of the cancer and how far it has spread, and is used to predict the outlook.

Ductal carcinoma in situ is sometimes described as stage 0. Other stages of breast cancer describe invasive breast cancer and include:

  • stage 1 the tumour measures less than 2cm and the lymph nodes in the armpit are not affected. There are no signs that the cancer has spread elsewhere in the body
  • stage 2 the tumour measures 2 to 5cm, the lymph nodes in the armpit are affected, or both. There are no signs that the cancer has spread elsewhere in the body
  • stage 3 the tumour measures 2 to 5cm and may be attached to structures in the breast, such as skin or surrounding tissues, and the lymph nodes in the armpit are affected. There are no signs that the cancer has spread elsewhere in the body
  • stage 4 the tumour is of any size and the cancer has spread to other parts of the body

This is a simplified guide. Each stage is divided into further categories: A, B and C. If youâre not sure what stage you have, talk to your doctor.

What Do The Results Mean

Depending in what type of test you had and how it was used, your results may:

  • Help diagnose the type or stage of your cancer.
  • Show whether your cancer treatment is working.
  • Help plan future treatment.
  • Show if your cancer has returned after you’ve finished treatment.

If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.

Complete Blood Count: Getting The Big Picture

To get a general overview of a patients health, many doctors order a complete blood count first. After taking blood, physicians can analyze the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and hemoglobin in the sample to detect abnormalities. Many diseases, including cancers, alter these levels, changing the proportion of white blood cells to red blood cells, for example.

One major aspect of the CBC is called a white cell differential. White blood cells, or leukocytes, are part of your immune system. They take on most of the responsibility in responding to infectious diseases, but abnormalities in their levels can also be a sign of some blood cancers. White cell differential is also a helpful indicator in judging a patients response to chemotherapy.

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How Do I Get Ready For A Breast Ultrasound

  • Your healthcare provider will explain the procedure to you. Ask any questions you have about the procedure.

  • You may be asked to sign a consent form that gives permission to do the test. Read the form carefully and ask questions if anything is not clear.

  • You do not need to stop eating or drinking before the test. You also will not need medicine to help you relax.

  • You should not put any lotion, powder, or other substances on your breasts on the day of the test.

  • Wear clothing that you can easily take off. Or wear clothing that lets the radiologist or technologist reach your chest. The gel put on your skin during the test does not stain clothing, but you may want to wear older clothing. The gel may not be completely removed from your skin afterward.

  • Follow any other instructions your healthcare provider gives you to get ready.

Do You Need Tests For Later

New blood test could spot breast cancer five years before ...

Imaging tests. If your cancer is stage IIIB or IV, you should get an imaging test to look for cancer in other parts of your body. Treatment can depend on how much and where the cancer has spread.

Tumor marker tests. If you have later-stage breast cancer, your doctor may also use blood tests to look at tumor markers. These tests should be done only when it is known that you have advanced cancer.

This report is for you to use when talking with your healthcare provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Use of this report is at your own risk.

09/2012

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Study Examines Whether Blood Test Can Identify Early Cancers

In a new study, an experimental blood test identified cancers for which there are recommended screening tests and other cancer types for which no screening tests exist.

In the first study of its kind, a blood test combined with imaging tests detected tumorssome at an early stagein women without a history of cancer or any symptoms.

The blood test identified breast, lung, and colorectal cancers, for which there are recommended screening tests. But it also identified seven other cancer types for which no screening tests exist.

Researchers led by Nickolas Papadopoulos, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, designed the study to see whether it was possible to use such a blood test to detect cancers before symptoms developed. They also wanted to make sure the testing process did not cause participants distress or lead to many unnecessary diagnostic procedures.

The study was not designed to determine whether finding and treating the cancers identified by the test reduced the number of deaths from cancer among participants.

The findings were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting and published in Science on April 28.

Although its counterintuitive, detecting a cancer early does not necessarily reduce the likelihood of dying from cancer, explained David Ransohoff, M.D., of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, who was not involved with the study. Some screening may actually cause more harm than good, Dr. Ransohoff said.

How Much Do Tamoxifen And Raloxifene Lower The Risk Of Breast Cancer

Multiple studies have shown that both tamoxifen and raloxifene can reduce the risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in healthy postmenopausal women who are at high risk of developing the disease. Tamoxifen lowered the risk by 50 percent. Raloxifene lowered the risk by 38 percent. Overall, the combined results of these studies showed that taking tamoxifen or raloxifene daily for five years reduced the risk of developing breast cancer by at least one-third. In one trial directly comparing tamoxifen with raloxifene, raloxifene was found to be slightly less effective than tamoxifen for preventing breast cancer.

Both tamoxifen and raloxifene have been approved for use to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer in women at high risk of the disease. Tamoxifen is approved for use in both premenopausal women and postmenopausal women . Raloxifene is approved for use only in postmenopausal women.

Less common but more serious side effects of tamoxifen and raloxifene include blood clots to the lungs or legs. Other serious side effects of tamoxifen are an increased risk for cataracts and endometrial cancers. Other common, less serious shared side effects of tamoxifen and raloxifene include hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.

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Tumour Marker Blood Test

Tumour markers are substances that might be raised if there is a cancer. Theyre usually proteins that can be found in the blood.

A tumour marker that is sometimes used in breast cancer is a protein called CA 15-3.

Doctors may use the CA 15-3, along with other tests, to check if treatment is working. A raised level may suggest that the cancer is spreading in some people with secondary breast cancer.

Tumour marker tests are not reliable enough to use on their own to:

diagnose breast cancer make decisions about your treatment

This is because other non cancerous conditions can also cause the levels to rise.

What Is Breast Cancer

Possible blood test to detect breast cancer

Breast cancers are malignant tumors that arise from the uncontrolled growth of cells in the breast. They occur primarily in the ducts that transport milk to the nipple during breast feeding and secondarily in the lobules, the glands that produce milk.

Each breast cancer will have its own characteristics. Some are slow-growing others can be aggressive. Some are sensitive to the hormones estrogen and progesterone, while

Breast cancers are malignant tumors that arise from the uncontrolled growth of cells in the breast. They occur primarily in the ducts that transport milk to the nipple during breast feeding and secondarily in the lobules, the glands that produce milk.

Each breast cancer will have its own characteristics. Some are slow-growing others can be aggressive. Some are sensitive to the hormones estrogen and progesterone, while others produce very high levels of certain proteins that make them grow. The cancers characteristics can affect treatment choices and the potential for the cancer to recur.

The rest of this article will focus on breast cancer in women. It is recommended that men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer speak to their healthcare provider for information specific to them and see the ACSs web site about Breast Cancer in Men.

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Table : Cbc With Results And Reference Interval

Result column: The result column shows counts that fall within the normal range.

Flag column: The flag column shows counts that are lower or higher than the normal range.

Reference interval column: The reference interval shows the normal range for each measurement for the lab performing the test. Different labs may use different reference intervals.

White blood cells: White blood cells help protect individuals from infections. The above CBC report shows that the patients total white cell count is 1.5, which is lower than the normal range of 4.0-10.5. The low white cell count increases the risk of infection.

Absolute neutrophil count: Neutrophils are the main white blood cell for fighting or preventing bacterial or fungal infections. In the CBC report, neutrophils may be referred to as polymorphonuclear cells or neutrophils. The absolute neutrophil count is a measure of the total number of neutrophils present in the blood. When the ANC is less than 1,000, the risk of infection increases. The ANC can be calculated by multiplying the total WBC by the percent of polymorphonuclear cells. For example, this patients ANC is 0.34, which equals 1.5 x 23%.

Red blood cells: Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. The above CBC report indicates that the patient has a red cell count of 3.5, which is lower than the normal range of 4.70-6.10, and therefore, shown in the flag column.

What Is Cancer And How Does It Occur

Cancer is actually a group of diseases that begin in the bodys basic units of life the cells. There are trillions of cells in the human body that combine to form skin, muscle, bone, breast and blood. In normal cell behavior, cells grow and divide to produce more cells as needed. After a limited number of divisions, the cell is programmed to die, replaced by new, younger cells. What happens, however, when cancer develops, is a loss of control in normal cell growth. In simple terms, cancer is the overgrowth of abnormal cells. Over time, these abnormal cells form a mass of tissue a growth or a tumor that invades and destroys normal tissue. These abnormal cells can also spread throughout the body, resulting in metastatic cancer.

Research continues on the many causes of cancer, a complex disease that develops as a step-by-step process before it becomes lethal. What researchers know for certain is that while exact causes of many cancers are not yet known, both external and internal factors play a role in cancer developing, including genetics, aging, lifestyle choices, exposure to carcinogens and infections.

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What Will The Her2/neu Results Tell Me

There are four tests for HER2, and results of these may appear on your pathology report, which may take several weeks to come back.

The first one is the IHC test, which is short for ImmunoHistoChemistry. It looks at whether there is excess HER2 protein in the cancerous cells. A result of 0 or 1+ indicates there is no excess, 2+ is borderline, and 3+ means the cells test positive for HER2 protein overexpression.

The remaining three tests all examine if the cells contain too many copies of the HER2 gene. These tests include:

  • The FISH test
  • The SPoT-Light HER2 CISH test
  • The Inform HER2 Dual ISH test

There are only two possible results for these three tests: positive, meaning HER2 gene amplification, or negative, indicating the number of HER2 genes is not excessive.

In the pathology report, breast cancers with HER2 protein overexpression and HER2 gene amplification are called HER2-positive. This type of cancer often grows faster, spreads to other areas more readily, and has a higher likelihood of recurring versus HER2-negative breast cancer.

Abnormal Results May Not Be Due To A Disease

Blood test used to match breast cancer patients to most ...

A test result outside the normal range of expected lab values does not necessarily mean you have a disease or disorder. Test results can be abnormal for other reasons. If you had a fasting plasma glucose test and you ate something before the test, or were drinking alcohol the night before or taking certain medications, your results could be temporarily outside the normal ranges, but are not evidence of a disease. To avoid such problems, it is best to talk with your doctor before any lab tests about whether you need to make any special preparations before getting your blood drawn, such as fasting the night before.

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What If You Have Early

If you have early-stage breast cancer but no symptoms to suggest the cancer has spread, you should not get an imaging test to look for cancer in other places in your body. The chance that your cancer has spread is very small. Studies show that breast cancer spreads to the liver and bones in fewer than 6 out of 100 people. And this is usually in patients with stage III breast cancer.

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Analyzing The Biopsy Sample

Analyzing the sample removed during the biopsy helps your doctor learn about specific features of a cancer and determine treatment options.

Your doctor may recommend additional laboratory tests on your tumor sample to identify specific genes, proteins, and other factors unique to the tumor. This helps your doctor find out the subtype of cancer.

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What Happens During A Tumor Marker Test

There are different ways to test for tumor markers. Blood tests are the most common type of tumor marker tests. Urine tests or biopsies may also be used to check for tumor markers. A biopsy is a minor procedure that involves removing a small piece of tissue for testing.

If you are getting a blood test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

If you are getting a urine test, ask your health care provider for instructions on how to provide your sample.

If you are getting a biopsy, a health care provider will take out a small piece of tissue by cutting or scraping the skin. If your provider needs to test tissue from inside your body, he or she may use a special needle to withdraw the sample.

Types Of Cancers That Are More Likely To Go Undetected

Breast Cancer blood test

Some cancers are more easily detected than others. For example, certain types of skin cancer can be diagnosed initially just by visual inspection though a biopsy is necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

But other cancers can form and grow undetected for 10 years or more, as one study found, making diagnosis and treatment that much more difficult.

This table provides an overview of common cancers that often display little or no symptoms early on, and how theyre typically detected and diagnosed:

Type of cancer

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Tests For Diagnosis And Staging

To diagnose inflammatory breast cancer, your doctor will perform a biopsy. Biopsy is a surgical procedure that removes some of the suspicious breast tissue for examination under a microscope.

Because inflammatory breast cancer usually does not begin as a distinct lump, but instead as changes to the skin, a skin punch biopsy is often used to make the diagnosis. During this type of biopsy, the doctor uses a circular tool to remove a small section of the skin and its deeper layers, and then stitches the wound closed. If your doctor can see a distinct lesion, he or she may perform an ultrasound-guided core needle biopsy. Ultrasound is an imaging method that places a sound-emitting device on the breast to obtain images of the tissues inside. Guided by the ultrasound, the doctor inserts a hollow needle into the breast to remove several cylinder-shaped samples of tissue from the area of suspicion.

If the biopsy shows that inflammatory breast cancer is present, your doctor will order additional tests to figure out how much of the breast tissue and lymph nodes are involved, and whether or not the other breast is affected. Breast MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is considered the most reliable test for gathering more information about inflammatory breast cancer.

Once IBC is diagnosed, additional tests are used to determine whether the cancer has spread outside the breast to other organs, such as the lungs, bones, or liver. This is called staging. Tests that may be used include:

Five Prevailing Cancers In America

Data from 2020 shows that cancer is a leading cause of death around the world. However, studies have proven that about 30% to 50 % of these deaths can be prevented with early detection and management. Fortunately, a blood test for cancer is now at the center of research to assess its use in diagnosing cancer cells at early stages. Here are the leading cancers in the US:

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