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Free Medical Advice sponsored by
Got an ache or pain? Have a question about a prescription or over-the-counter drug? Looking for some FREE medical advice?
Question:
Will a simple blood test show if one has cancer, Lymphatic cancer in particular. What is the simpleest way to test for this?
JD
Answer:
Thank you for your inquiry. (Did you go and see the doctor and get your cardiovascular symptoms / blood pressure checked?) No simple blood test will show whether one has cancer or not. (A test such as this is one of the research Holy Grails of medicine, like a vaccine against malaria or Human Immunodeficiency Virus...). There are a number of tests for substances that 'may' increase in level when one has a specific type of cancer (such as PSA test for prostate cancer) but these are not inherently reliable enough to be used alone even for screening the at-risk population for that specific type of cancer. And because they tend by chemical / immunological necessity to be specific, they are not useful for screening for other cancers. By lymphatic cancer I assume you mean lyphoma, Hodgkin's or non-Hodgkin's. In lymphoma, one or more cells in the lymphatic system start to reproduce uncontrollably (for no discernible reason). Lymphoma is differentiated by the type of cell that multiplies and how the cancer presents itself. The symptoms are often vague and mimic those of other, much more common and less nasty, conditions. Rather than seek a one-shot laboratory diagnosis, to exclude lymphoma you as before need to present to a physician and have a history taken, be examined, and have the relevant blood and other tests. Hope this helps. As always, we recommend checking with your physician for the applicability of this general advice to your individual clinical situation.
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