Your doctor may also refer you for blood tests such as:
- Complete blood count (CBC), which measures the number of red, white, and other blood cells to ensure proper bone marrow function. It also gauges whether treatment is affecting blood cell counts.
- Serum chemistry test, which evaluates levels of electrolytes, such as calcium and potassium, and certain enzymes (proteins). Doing so shows how well various organs are functioning. Abnormal levels of these substances can mean that cancer has spread.
- Tumor marker tests, which check for certain proteins that cancer tumors produce in the blood. We use these tests:
- Before treatment to help diagnose breast cancer and see if it has spread elsewhere in the body
- During treatment to assess its effectiveness
Stanford Health Library
For confidential help with your health care questions, contact the Stanford Health Library. Professional medical librarians and trained volunteers can help you access journals, books, e-books, databases, and videos to learn more about medical conditions, treatment options, and related issues.
Published April 2018
Stanford Health Care © 2018