A blood test cannot detect colon cancer.
A blood test measures the chemicals. Our liver makes such chemicals or we can also find such chemicals in our liver. The level of this chemical indicates that cancer has or hasn’t spread to other parts of the body.
It checks the red blood cell counts. The lower red blood cell counts indicate that there is a presence of anemia
A blood test only finds whether the blood is present in the stool or not.
What is colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer is the cancer of the rectum and the colon. The other short name for colorectal cancer is colon cancer.
It is the second leading cause of death due to cancer in the United States.
Colon affects the men and women of all ethnic and racial groups.
It mainly affects people aged 50 years and more than that.
What are the risk factors of colon cancer?
The risk factors of colon cancer are:
- People aged 50 years and more than that.
- Family history
- Inflammatory bowel diseases
- Lack of regular physical exercise
- Inappropriate dietary pattern
- Alcohol consumption
- Tobacco use
- The diet is rich in red meat or processed meat.
- Diet poor in fiber.
Symptoms of colon cancer
The symptoms of the colorectal cancers are as follows :
- Abdominal pain
- Stomach aches
- Stomach cramps
- Blood in urine
- bowel movements changes such as diarrhea
- Loss of the weight and without any known reason
- Persistent nausea or vomiting
- Iron deficiency anemia.
Can a blood test detect colon cancer?
A. General test
The general is for the assessment of the overall health status and to detect bodily function. It includes:
i. Physical examination
ii. Blood test:
A blood test in colon cancer is for the assessment of the general health status of the person and to look after the signs that suggest to us that there is the presence of the blood in the stool.
Blood test measures :
- The chemicals that are made by our liver or the chemicals that are found in our liver.
- And checks the red blood cell counts. The lower red blood cell counts indicate that there is a presence of anemia which is common in people with colon cancer, but anemia may be also caused due to other conditions.
Immunochemical fecal occult blood test (iFOBT)
- This test depends on the symptoms of the people.
- It is recommended for people with weight loss, anemia, changes in the bowel movement, and abdominal pain.
- But, it is not recommended for people who are bleeding from the rectum.
- In this test, the doctor asks to take a sample of the stool at home and he examines the sample of stool under the microscope for microscopic traces of the blood.
- Which indicates the sign of bowel cancer, polyps, or other bowel conditions.
The immunochemical fecal occult blood test (iFOBT) does not detect colon cancer. It only finds whether the blood is present in the stool or not.
- If there is a presence of the blood in the stool then the doctors recommend having a colonoscopy as soon as possible of the result.
- The colonoscopy should be done within 120 hours of the results of the iFOBT (i.e. there is the presence of blood in the stool )
B. Tests that find the presence of the colon cancer
i. Colonoscopy and bioscopy
ii. CT colonography
iii. Flexible sigmoidoscopy
C. Tests that detect the spread of cancer from the colon to other parts of the body
i. CT scan
ii. CEA blood test :
- CEA blood test detects the levels of the protein which is called Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA).
- Some of the cancer cells produce this protein.
- The high level of the CEA indicates that the spread of cancer from the colon to other parts of the body.
- But the high level of the CEA in our body may be due to other medical conditions or other factors such as pregnancy or smoking.
- This CEA blood test is used for the people who are already receiving treatment to monitor the status of colorectal cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the early warning signs of colorectal cancer ?
The early warning signs of colorectal cancer are Abdominal pain, Stomach aches, Stomach cramps, Blood in urine, bowel movements changes such as diarrhea, Loss of the weight without any known reason, Persistent nausea or vomiting, Iron deficiency anemia.
Does colon cancer affect blood cell count?
A blood test checks the red blood cell counts. The lower red blood cell counts indicate that there is a presence of anemia which is common in people with colon cancer, but anemia may be also caused due to other conditions.
What tests are done for bowel cancer?
Immunochemical fecal occult blood test (iFOBT), Colonoscopy and bioscopy, CT colonography, CT scan, CEA blood test, and Flexible sigmoidoscopy
What is the main cause of bowel cancer?
The risk factors of colon cancer are People aged 50 years and more than that, Genetics, Family history, Inflammatory bowel diseases, Lack of regular physical exercise, Inappropriate dietary pattern, Alcohol consumption, Tobacco use, Overweight, Obesity, The diet is rich in red meat or processed meat, Irradiation, Diet poor in fiber.