No blood test can tell you if you have colon cancer. But your doctor may test your blood for clues about your overall health, such as kidney and liver function tests. Your doctor may also test your blood for a chemical sometimes produced by colon cancers (carcinoembryonic antigen, or CEA).
Does colon cancer affect your blood count?
Colorectal cancers can often bleed into the digestive tract. Sometimes the blood can be seen in the stool or make it look darker, but often the stool looks normal. But over time, the blood loss can build up and can lead to low red blood cell counts (anemia).
What blood tests are abnormal with colon cancer?
CA 19-9 is a blood marker that may be elevated in colorectal cancer. Imaging Studies: These tests allow your doctor to see if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. You may have a CT scan of your chest, abdomen and pelvis. Your doctor may also request MRI scans.
What labs are elevated with colon cancer?
Tumor marker tests are used to check for two substances in the blood that colorectal cancer may produce: carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and CA 19-9. The tests may help determine an appropriate course of treatment and, sometimes, whether the disease is likely to recur.
Can you check your colon through blood work?
No blood test can detect colon cancer. However, your doctor may order blood tests to get a picture of your overall health, as well as use other screening methods to look for signs of colon cancer.
Does colon cancer show on CBC?
Your doctor might also order certain blood tests to help determine if you have colorectal cancer. These tests also can be used to help monitor your disease if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Complete blood count (CBC): This test measures the different types of cells in your blood.
What was your first colon cancer symptom?
A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool. Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool. Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain. A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely.
Can blood test tell if you have cancer?
With the exception of blood cancers, blood tests generally can’t absolutely tell whether you have cancer or some other noncancerous condition, but they can give your doctor clues about what’s going on inside your body.
How do you rule out colon cancer?
In addition to a physical examination, the following tests may be used to diagnose colorectal cancer.
- Colonoscopy. …
- Biopsy. …
- Biomarker testing of the tumor. …
- Blood tests. …
- Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan. …
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). …
- Ultrasound. …
- Chest x-ray.
Where is abdominal pain located with colon cancer?
Colorectal cancer can cause abdominal pain near the area of the colon, as well as: changes in bowel movements, such as constipation or diarrhea. bright red blood in the stool. an urgency to have bowel movements, but which do not provide relief.
How long can you have colon cancer without knowing?
Colon cancer is typically slow-growing, starting as a benign polyp that eventually becomes malignant. This process may occur over many years without producing any symptoms. Once colon cancer has developed, it may still be years before it is detected.