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Can lung cancer be diagnosed with a blood test?

Blood counts and blood chemistry tests cannot be used alone to diagnose lung cancer. However, they can help spot problems in some of your organs that may be a sign of cancer. They may also help your doctor determine whether or not you are healthy enough to have surgery.

If cancer has spread to the liver and bones, for instance, it may cause certain chemical problems in the blood. If a substance called LDH is very high, it usually means that the outlook for cure or long-term survival isn't good.

A complete blood count (CBC) may also be done and repeated regularly if you are being treated with chemotherapy. This test can tell your doctor whether or not you are losing red blood cells (becoming anemic) because of treatment. It can also determine that your white blood cells and platelets are high enough to continue therapy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.