Detection of Blood Cancer

Early detection of the disease

For each and every disease, there is only one motto: to detect the disease in the earlier stages, to get the best possible treatment results. The effectiveness of any treatment is inversely proportional to the stage of the disease. In layman terms, it means that any therapy works best when started during the initial phases of the disease as it is easier to destroy cell production during that period.

So, as soon as you or your doctor detect any signs or symptoms of the disease, it should be confirmed immediately. Blood cancer can be diagnosed with a variety of tests. These tests range from simple blood tests to more precise bone marrow biopsies.

Some of the well-known techniques are:

Complete blood count (CBC): This common blood test measures the number of various types of blood cells in a sample of your blood. If too many or too few of a type of blood cell or abnormal cells are found, this should be further investigated.

A bone marrow biopsy may help confirm a diagnosis of blood cancer.

Blood protein testing: A test to examine various proteins in your blood can aid in detecting certain abnormal immune system proteins (immunoglobulins) that are sometimes elevated in people suffering from multiple myeloma. A bone marrow biopsy is used to confirm a suspected diagnosis.

Tumour marker tests: These are certain chemicals secreted by the cancer cells. When detected, they indicate the presence of an abnormality which should be further confirmed by a bone marrow biopsy.

Sometimes the tumour markers are released by some normal cells of the body which elevates their levels even in non-cancerous conditions. This limits the potential for tumour marker tests to help in diagnosing cancer.

The appropriate use of tumour markers in diagnosing cancer hasn’t been determined. And the use of some tumour marker tests is controversial.

Circulating tumour cell tests: These are the tests which target the free-flowing tumour cells in the bloodstream. This is an uncommon test to be used in normal routine cases.