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Can a full blood count test show cancer?

(26 Posts)
Sunshineandlaughter Wed 12-Apr-17 21:54:57

Or do you need a more detailed blood test? Just wondering as I've been having unexplained fatigue and chest pains and would love to be able to mentally rule out cancer!

WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo Thu 13-Apr-17 00:06:45

There's quite a detailed explanation of full blood count results here.

It can give results that could indicate cancer, but it wouldn't rule out every cancer.

Why do you suspect cancer, out of interest? I'm sure there are plenty of much more likely possibilities, anaemia, for example. I hope that you get some reassurance soon, and that they can identify the cause of your symptoms quickly and fix it flowers

accendo Thu 13-Apr-17 00:18:11

Do you have anxiety op? I'm not trying to diagnose you but those symptoms could also be attributed to anxiety.

Sunshineandlaughter Thu 13-Apr-17 11:51:16

No I don't have anxiety

Sunshineandlaughter Thu 13-Apr-17 11:54:19

Thank you for link. Not really sure what's wrong with me but my body is def not right - I'm exhausted, getting random awful chest pains occasionally, also have a very bloated tummy and can't loose weight. I've had my thyroid checked etc. I'm low in vitamin d and iron and have been through a very stressful time lately not looking after myself. I just wanted to be able to cross of cancer as a possibility as a family member (non blood related) died from ovarian cancer recently. The drs never tell you what you don't have! I find it really useful to know what has been ruled out.

Sunshineandlaughter Thu 13-Apr-17 11:56:38

I really hate how anyone who is worried about symptoms or wants to know more about their body is called anxious! Anxious is worried when there is nothing there - men NEVER get accused of anxiety - it's just women who get their symptoms dismissed. So no, I'm not anxious, I've got symptoms which I'd like to understand.

wineoclockthanks Thu 13-Apr-17 12:46:52

There is a blood test that tests level of CA125 which if it's raised, can be an indicator of ovarian cancer (as well as other less sinister things)

If the CA125 levels are high, docs should refer for an ultrasound.

Sunshineandlaughter Thu 13-Apr-17 14:19:47

Thank you. I'll have to go back to GP and say I'm still fatigued and worried about the bloating etc.

originalbiglymavis Thu 13-Apr-17 14:27:02

I think maybe some cancers can be spotted easily - dad's was picked up immediately (doctor came around the same day) when he had a check up blood test for something completely different but my sister had loads of tests and hers wasn't picked up until she had a camera up and down and a later biopsy.

TwitterQueen1 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:27:26

I'm not clear whether or not you've had a full blood test OP? As PP have said, the CA125 level is an indicator of something wrong, so if you haven't had this marker included in a blood test then you certainly need to have this tested.

The bloating and inability to lose weight is not good either. Definitely go back to your doctor.

Sunshineandlaughter Thu 13-Apr-17 14:44:25

Thanks. Sorry I haven't been very clear. I went to the drs for tiredness and they did a blood test and said low vitamin d and iron. But I didn't mention the bloating and chest pains to them at this time hence they wouldn't have included this specific one I presume. I'll go back and mention all symptoms together. I've heard people say vitamin d can lead to all sorts of weird symptoms so hopefully it's just this.

TwitterQueen1 Thu 13-Apr-17 14:52:48

Make sure you ask for an ultrasound on your stomach as well.

I don't know whether or not CA125 is part of a regular blood test. If it is, and nothing has been flagged, then I would assume whatever your problem is, it's not cancer. But better to be certain.

maisiejones Thu 13-Apr-17 18:45:16

No, CA125 is not done unless specifically requested. It's not included in a 'general' blood test.

Jemimapuddleduk Thu 13-Apr-17 18:49:27

No not all cancers. Blood tests showed low platelets in my son for 3 months and they thought it was something called ITP it was only after a bone marrow aspirate and trefine that they found myelodysplasia and Acute myeloid leukaemia.
If you are worried push for tests and more tests if not satisfied.
I hope all is well and it's just a nasty virus that has floored you.

Blackdoglet Thu 13-Apr-17 19:00:56

Beware of CA-125. I have had this test quite a few times and mine comes out high always. Very scary first time. Some people are normal to be out of normal range! (Like any averages I suppose).

It is not completely reliable for diagnosing. It's main use is to monitor a patient to see how they're responding to treatment once a diagnosis of ovarian cancer is made - numbers should fall from a baseline taken at start of treatment.
Although it may show that further investigation is required, it is not indicative of ovarian cancer being definitely present. Just wanted to reassure anyone who gets high CA-125 result.

Sunshineandlaughter Thu 13-Apr-17 20:50:43

Thanks for the info black

Sorry to hear that jemima. How is your son now? Well done on keeping pushing for tests.

Nospringflower Thu 13-Apr-17 21:03:26

Although you said you dont have anxiety you said you have been through s stressful time, have had a relative with ovarian cancer and are now concerned that you may have cancer. I can see why someone would ask the question (of a man or woman).

Also once you are aware of symptoms everyone does tend to focus on them more and notice things more so it can be a vicious circle.

Good to get checked by GP anyway but often people end up with medically unexplained symptoms.

Hope all turns out well.

esk1mo Thu 13-Apr-17 21:49:13

chest pains and tiredness are really common in anaemia. i get that plus palpitations and tingling fingers/toes. i get breathless walking on a slightly inclined pavement, i bruise easily.

bloating could be something like IBS. you probably have ovarian cancer in your head because of the person you know who had
it recently, but them having it doesnt mean your chances are higher.

have you been checked for coeliac? thats what causes my low iron and could probably lead to low vitamin D aswell as bloating.

Sunshineandlaughter Thu 13-Apr-17 22:59:48

I assume coeliac disease would show earlier in life? I've only had these symptoms for the past 3 months or so. Also I'm breastfeeding which is what I assume has caused these deficiencies.

Yes it could all be low iron and low vitamin d - the most likely explanation.

Will def go back to GP after the Easter hol

Sunshineandlaughter Thu 13-Apr-17 23:01:13

No spring - I'm not overly concerned I have cancer - I just know that my symptoms could point towards cancer amongst other things and wanted to understand if the blood test id already had would have ruled that out

Sunshineandlaughter Thu 13-Apr-17 23:03:55

The real problem with the health care system is that people are not listened to with their symptoms. My daughter was not treated for s long time for her symptoms as I was deemed 'anxious mum' - and she nearly died from not being treated hence I get pretty pissed off that people think I don't know my body well enough to know whether or not a symptom physically exists or is imagined in my head!

Sunshineandlaughter Thu 13-Apr-17 23:04:48

So please no more talk of anxiety on this thread!!
Facts about what blood tests show and what symptoms could point towards very welcome!

M0nica Thu 13-Apr-17 23:13:58

Trouble is that pretty much all symptoms lead to cancer. Google most ailments & you'll find it

Sunshineandlaughter Thu 13-Apr-17 23:38:16

Ha true!

esk1mo Fri 14-Apr-17 00:57:26

i was diagnosed coeliac aged 23, my dad was diagnosed in his 50s! for a lot of people the first and sometimes only symptom is anaemia.

if you have the gene then it can be triggered by a virus, which happened in my case in my early 20s.

im 27 now and still struggle with low ferritin levels, low folate and sort of low b12.

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