A blood test for lung cancer is one of the first and most accurate diagnostic techniques. With any serious disease, the composition of the blood changes, and in the analysis it is possible to understand the nature of the pathology. Naturally, judging the morphology and localization of cancer in the analysis is quite difficult, so after the studies have shown a positive result, additional diagnosis is carried out. Blood sampling is made from the vein. The procedure does not differ from that which is carried out in the usual general analysis.
Types of blood test for cancer:
General blood analysis
A general blood test can reveal pathological changes in the body with various diseases of an infectious and non-infectious nature. Studies are conducted at different indications. If they are suspected of oncology, they are mandatory.
With cancer, an easy general analysis does not always reveal the disease. At early stages of tumor development, no changes in blood composition are observed. At later stages, eosinophilia and leukocytosis can be detected. If there are metastases in the bone marrow, the analysis shows anemia.
Thus, in certain cases, a general blood test can show not only the presence of oncology, but also its stage. Naturally, it is not suitable for early diagnosis.
Biochemical blood analysis allows you to more accurately judge the state of the body as a whole and individual systems and organs. This is a fairly accurate method, which is prescribed at the first suspicion of cancer. The procedure is practically the same as what is done in a general analysis, but the patient should limit his diet by giving up food and liquids (except water) 6-12 hours before taking blood. Otherwise, the composition of the blood may change, which will give an inaccurate result.
- Cancers may include:
- Low serum albumin;
- High activity of aldolase and lactate dehydrogenase;
- High level of gamma and alpha-2-globulins, calcium and cortisol.
These signs may indicate an oncological disease. In this case, an additional analysis is carried out for oncomarkers.
Blood test for oncologic markers
This is the main blood test for lung cancer. It gives an accurate result even in the early stages of malignant tumor development. It is based on the study of cancer markers – proteins, excreted by cancer cells. More details about the method are given below.
Oncological diseases often make themselves felt at later stages, when symptoms appear – weakness, lack of appetite, pain, etc. Until some time, there was no more or less reliable way of detecting cancer at an early stage, if we talk about tumors of internal organs. A blood test for cancer markers is one of the few techniques that allows you to do this quickly.
Oncological markers are substances that are produced in cancer cells. They can easily get into the blood, without being reflected as something on the person’s health. These are not only proteins, but also other molecules that can point to oncology and even its localization. At least some of the cancer markers can accurately determine lung cancer and its variety.
The main oncological markers are:
- Cyfra-21-1 (fragment of cytokeratin 19);
- REA (an avoembryonic antigen);
- NSE (neuron-specific enolase);
- CEA (carcinoid embryonic antigen).
When these substances are detected, the patient is referred to the diagnosis of cancer using radiography, biopsy and other techniques to clarify the diagnosis.
Markers indicate certain types of cancer. In particular, a fragment of cytokeratin 19 is detected in squamous cell carcinoma. If there is a suspicion of this type of tumor, the analysis is carried out only on Cyfra-21-1. Neuroenolysis (NSE) appears in large volumes in small-cell carcinomas. If the analysis is also performed on a fragment of cytokeratin 19, the accuracy of the test can be increased. If there is a suspicion of adenocarcinoma, an analysis is performed on CEA, CA 19-9, carbohydrate antigen 72-4, and other oncological markers.
How is the analysis done?
Unlike some other diagnostic procedures, a blood test for lung cancer does not cause significant discomfort and does not cause pain. To conduct it, you just need to donate blood in a specialized clinic. Please note that for the complete elimination of cancer, several tests will have to be performed at once – for each oncomarker separately. On what markers it is necessary to investigate blood for lung cancer, it is written above.
Indications for use
Blood test for oncomarker can be done before hospitalization and before the first symptoms are revealed. Due to rapid diagnosis, serious consequences can be avoided.
Note this method if:
You enter a risk group (for example, smoke, work in harmful production, live in an area with an increased incidence of cancer, etc.);
In other studies (for example, radiography) in the lungs, a compaction was found: an analysis on the tumor marker will help determine the nature of the tumor;
With complete cure for lung cancer