Are blood tests useful to diagnose mesothelioma? Question 10

There are no specific blood tests that can tell your doctor you have mesothelioma. Certain blood cell values may be abnormal when a patient has mesothelioma, but these are nonspecific (that is, they do not definitively tell the doctor that it is mesothelioma or another type of cancer or a benign condition). 

The white blood cell count (cells that fight infection) may be elevated and/or the platelet count (cells that help the clotting system) may be elevated above normal values. 

The liquid part of blood (serum) is partially comprised of dissolved proteins. Currently, there are no specific proteins in the serum that can tell your doctor you have asbestosis or mesothelioma. Proteins that are specific to a certain disease are called biomarkers. 

There is great interest in the discovery of these biomarkers, which may represent unique proteins from the tumor that appear early in the disease and increase as the disease progresses. 

Ask your physician whether any of these markers are under study or whether any have been approved by the FDA for the study of mesothelioma. These markers include soluble mesothelin related protein (SMRP) and osteopontin.  

White blood cell (WBC)  Refers to a blood cell that doesn't contain hemoglobin. White blood cells include lymphocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, macrophages, and mast cells. These cells are made by bone marrow and help the body fight infection and other diseases.
Platelet (PLAYT-let)  A type of blood cell that helps prevent bleeding by causing blood clots to form. Also called a thrombocyte.
Biomarker  A substance sometimes found in the blood, other body fluids, or tissues. A high level of biomarker may mean that a certain type of cancer is in the body. Examples of biomarkers include CA 125 (ovarian cancer), CA 15-3 (breast cancer), CEA (ovarian, lung, breast, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tract cancers), and PSA (prostate cancer). Also called tumor marker.  


Are blood tests useful to diagnose mesothelioma? Question 10 Are blood tests useful to diagnose mesothelioma? Question 10 Reviewed by Ari on 12:54 AM Rating: 5

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