Lung cancer is a serious form of cancer that affects the lungs and airways. It is one of the most common forms of cancer, and it is estimated that more than 200,000 people are diagnosed with it each year. While there are many treatments available, early detection is still the best way to ensure a positive outcome. One way to detect lung cancer is through blood tests, which can detect the presence of cancer cells or cancer-related proteins in the blood.
What Is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer is a type of cancer that affects the lungs and airways. It is caused by abnormal cell growth, which can occur in either the cells of the lungs or the airways. The most common type of lung cancer is non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which accounts for about 85% of all cases. The other 15% of cases are small cell lung cancer (SCLC), which is more aggressive and fast-growing. Symptoms of lung cancer may include a persistent cough, chest pain, shortness of breath, and coughing up blood.
What Are the Blood Tests for Lung Cancer?
Blood tests for lung cancer can be used to detect the presence of cancer cells or cancer-related proteins in the blood. These tests are typically used to confirm a diagnosis of lung cancer, or to monitor the effectiveness of treatment.
The most common blood test for lung cancer is a complete blood count (CBC). This test measures the number of red and white blood cells, as well as platelets, in the blood. Abnormal levels may indicate the presence of cancer cells. Other blood tests may include a tumor marker test, which measures the levels of proteins associated with cancer, or a chest X-ray, which can reveal changes in the lungs.
While blood tests are an important tool in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, they are not the only way to detect the disease. Other tests, such as CT scans and biopsies, may be used in conjunction with blood tests to get a more complete picture of the cancer. If you have any concerns about lung cancer, it is important to speak to your doctor as soon as possible. Early detection is the best way to ensure a positive outcome.