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Old 04-30-2005, 06:25 AM   #1
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Can cancer be found through blood work?

Hi everyone, I've been having these pressure type feelings around my sinus' and in the roof of my mouth and my inner ears have been feeling like there's pressure in them. It was never really constant until last night, I'm still feeling it slightly but not as bad. I've had blood tests done to check my platelet levels and I was told everything was perfect. Could I still have brain/sinus/neck cancer and they didn't find it just by doing a platelet check?

I'm not having any trouble breathing through my nose so I don't know if it's just sinus' pressure without a stuffy nose or what..

I should also mention that I've noticed new moles forming on my neck in little patches.. they're light in color, don't itch, don't burn, or anything really.. they're just there.

 
Old 04-30-2005, 11:56 AM   #2
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Re: Can cancer be found through blood work?

It sounds as if you may have either a sinus infection, and ear infection, or possibly fluid in the middle ear. A doctor can usually diagnose this through a physical exam.

As for cancer and blood tests...there is no one single blood test that can detect cancer. There are some "markers" for which blood can be tested, such as the PSA (prostate cancer) screening for men and the CA125 for breast/ovarian cancer, but in many cases, one can have cancer even without elevated markers, and the markers can be elevated even in the absence of cancer. Therefore, those blood tests are usually used in conjunction with other tests to determine if cancer is present; for example, someone with an enlarged prostate AND a significantly elevated PSA level would be sent for a prostate biopsy. Someone with a lump in the breast might be sent for a CA125 to help determine even prior to surgery if the lump is likely to be malignant. But even more commonly, those cancer markers are used to follow the progress/remission of a cancer that has already been determined through other means.

As for the "moles", I doubt they're at all connected with the ear/mouth/sinus problems. It's more likely that they're benign skin tags, which nearly everyone develops as we get older. Some get them sooner, some later. Some get more of them, some fewer. It's not a bad idea to have a dermatologist do a complete body skin map once a year so that if a mole/skin tag/ keratosis does become malignant it would be spotted fairly quickly. But in general, very few of those skin tags ever become malignant.

Ruth

 
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Old 04-30-2005, 01:22 PM   #3
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Re: Can cancer be found through blood work?

Thank you so much for reply Ruth. It has put my mind at ease a little reading what you said.

I'm 28 and my mother has a good bit of moles so maybe I'm just at that age to start getting more of them..


Thanks again..


Larry

 
Old 05-01-2005, 08:00 AM   #4
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Re: Can cancer be found through blood work?

Larry,
One thing I forgot to mention is the a very few cancers, usually types of leukemias, can be diagnosed through blood work. The symptoms, however, would be quite different from what you've mentioned, and the first tip would be something wrong with the red or white blood counts. I don't think this is something you need to be concerned about at all, just wanted to give you more correct info re blood tests and cancer.

Yes, getting on close to your 30's in a typical age to start developing those skin tags and moles. Wait till you get to 50, lol! They start multiplying daily, or at least it seems that way to me. Make sure you use a really good sunscreen when you're out in the sun...that will help prevent some of those skin changes. But, as you pointed out, some of it is just plain genetic.

As far as the pressure you've been experiencing around sinuses, roof of mouth, etc. Have you tried taking a decongestant? Sometimes that's all it takes to clear up your sinuses. Also, this has been a terrible spring for allergies...and allergies cause congestions...and congestion can cause sinus pressure. Admittedly I'm no doctor, but it really sounds like that's what may be going on.

Ruth

 
Old 05-01-2005, 03:17 PM   #5
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Re: Can cancer be found through blood work?

Sam is correct. The only types of cancers that typically give their "tip-off" through bloodwork are Leukemias and sometimes Lymphoma's because they are inherently cancers of the blood and lymphatic system itself.

Good luck,
Ian.

 
Old 05-02-2005, 05:59 AM   #6
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Re: Can cancer be found through blood work?

Thanks again for the replies..

The pressure comes and goes, last night I had it really bad. I've also been feeling like I have a lump in my throat around my collar bone, once again, it's not a constant pain, just something that I feel for a little while and then it goes away.


Could be stress related too. I've had panic attacks recently, but I'm such a skeptic when it comes to thinking a panic attack can cause all these weird pains I'm feeling. Although I've had blood tests done 3 times, an ECG, and a chest x-ray they can't seem to see anything but I keep getting the feeling that something is wrong inside that just hasn't been found yet.

If it was some sort of cancer the pains I feel would probably be constant right? And they wouldn't have just all of a sudden started happening would they? It seems like it all happened over night and the pains haven't gotten worse or better..

I hope it's all just stress/anxiety related.

Thanks again..

 
Old 05-02-2005, 05:31 PM   #7
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Re: Can cancer be found through blood work?

Stress and anxiety certainly could cause those types of pains. The lump in your throat could be from a mild sinus infection too, particularly if it's causing post nasal drip.

Ruth

 
Old 05-02-2005, 06:22 PM   #8
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Re: Can cancer be found through blood work?

Im curious myself now too, I understand that most cancers can not be found throught blood work, meaning the actual cancer. But if there was a cancer present somewhere in the body, something would be wrong with the blood, red/white blood cell counts? or something that would futher make doctors look into it? I guess my question is if cancer was in your body, even if the blood work didnt point directly to it, there would be something wrong with the blood to make doctors look further into it.?

 
Old 05-02-2005, 07:55 PM   #9
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Re: Can cancer be found through blood work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamQKitty
Stress and anxiety certainly could cause those types of pains. The lump in your throat could be from a mild sinus infection too, particularly if it's causing post nasal drip.

Ruth

No nasal drip here. It very well could be the anxiety since all of it started after my first panic attack last month. I've been freaking out since then thinking and feeling like something is very wrong..


Thank you so much for the replies.. Just knowing that's it's not likely cancer related puts me at ease.

 
Old 05-02-2005, 08:36 PM   #10
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Re: Can cancer be found through blood work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fullstride
Im curious myself now too, I understand that most cancers can not be found throught blood work, meaning the actual cancer. But if there was a cancer present somewhere in the body, something would be wrong with the blood, red/white blood cell counts? or something that would futher make doctors look into it? I guess my question is if cancer was in your body, even if the blood work didnt point directly to it, there would be something wrong with the blood to make doctors look further into it.?
My friends always used to try and convince me of this when I would get bloodwork that would come out normal despite the fact I felt like crap. I feel even worse now, have huge bruises under my eyes, constant grumbling headaches and abdominal pain, and guess what. I got my latest blood counts today and they were even MORE within limits than before.

So unfortunately, while its possible, its unlikely that bloodwork would show changes due to cancer unless maybe it was very advanced. Thats not to say there are not specific tests they can do, like the PSA test for Prostate Cancer and Urine tests for Kidney Abnormalities, Amylase and Lypase tests for Pancreas etc.

The best thing you can do is continue working with your doctor to treat and diagnose your symptoms as necessary.

 
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