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Would bowel cancer show up in blood tests?

(11 Posts)
luvinthesun Tue 02-Sep-14 20:20:36

Hi, a member of my family is going for tests at the moment as they are having problems.. It has been suggested that he could have a number of things, and bowel cancer hasn't been specifically mentioned, but for obvious reasons, it is the one that sticks in your mind sad He has had blood tests and they came back all clear?
Is that a good thing I wondered? I know that blood tests probably wouldn't show actual cancer, but surely they would show cell changes or something would they?
I was hoping someone may have some knowledge and be able to advise if possible? Thank you.xx

Musicaltheatremum Tue 02-Sep-14 20:26:18

Bowel cancer can only be diagnosed by colonoscopy. There is a blood test which goes up in bowel cancer but it should not be used as a screening test as other inflammatory conditions can make it go up and it should only be used as a way of monitoring a response to treatment.

FrontForward Tue 02-Sep-14 20:27:12

I'm a bit confused by your post. What obvious reasons make bowel cancer stick in your mind over any other cancer?

The cell changes in bowel cancer occur in the bowel.

luvinthesun Tue 02-Sep-14 20:42:59

Sorry for the lack of information. The symptoms are constant diarrhea, blood in his stools, severe cramping/pain etc. There are a number of conditions they have told him he could be suffering from and they have started doing tests. I was just hoping that maybe something would show in his blood tests as being abnormal if he had cancer ( I know I am worrying about worse case scenario)

Wadingthroughsoup Tue 02-Sep-14 20:50:12

Oh, I feel for you. It's so worrying when something like this is being investigated.

I'm afraid that I think the simple answer to your question is 'no', or 'not necessarily'.

For various reasons, I became exceptionally paranoid about cancer a while ago and the stress and worry made me feel ill. I had some standard blood tests and I got very upset and asked the nurse whether they would know if
I had cancer from the blood test. She said no.

When my mum had cancer, her blood tests very often came back clear until her illness had progressed. (Not bowel cancer, but I don't think it makes much difference).

Sorry, I know that's not what you wanted to hear. I hope your relative gets on ok with the tests, and that it's found to be something other than cancer.

luvinthesun Tue 02-Sep-14 21:27:24

Thank you for the replies, they are appreciated. I'm sorry that your mum had cancer wadingthroughsoup sad I hope she recovered? The waiting around is awful isn't it for results to come back sad

NickiFury Tue 02-Sep-14 21:37:11

What do blood tests actually show then. Seems a bit pointless if they don't actually show anything serious.

Wadingthroughsoup Tue 02-Sep-14 21:44:01

The waiting is absolutely awful- torturous. At least when you know what you're dealing with, everyone can adjust and make plans accordingly.

Sadly mum didn't recover, but thank you for your kind words. She had stomach cancer, and the survival rates for that particular one are not very high. It was pretty advanced by the time they found it, and it had spread.

I am keeping everything crossed for your loved one. The waiting is awful. The only thing I can suggest is to try and keep busy, but it's only natural that you will worry sad

Wadingthroughsoup Tue 02-Sep-14 21:46:50

Blood tests can show quite a range of things, I think, depending on what one is looking for. Liver function, anaemia, infection, inflammation...various other things I think. They might give clues about a cancer, but they might not, so are not always very useful in that context.

luvinthesun Tue 02-Sep-14 22:43:31

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that wadingthroughsoup That must have been soul destroying for you. I hope my post hasn't brought back to many sad memories for you sad Cancer is the one word we all dread isn't it.
Guess I will know more in a few weeks. Thanks everyone.x

Wadingthroughsoup Tue 02-Sep-14 22:57:43

You're so right- the word itself has so much attached to it, it is a terrifying word.

Thank you very much, and no, don't worry about your post bringing up sad memories. I was in two minds whether to post about my mum, because I didn't want it to seem in any way like I was suggesting that your relative has cancer.

I hope the next few weeks pass as quickly as they can, and that the results aren't too scary. thanks

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