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Lab tests for pancreatic cancer

What are lab tests?

A complete blood count (CBC) is a common laboratory test used to measure blood counts (or the number of blood cells circulating in the bloodstream). A CBC measures the level of red blood cells (which carry oxygen throughout the body), white blood cells (which fight infection), and platelets (which help with blood clotting) in a blood sample. A CBC also measures hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen) and hematocrit (the ratio of red blood cells to plasma).

Blood, stool and urine tests for pancreatic cancer

We may use laboratory tests to check for tumor-associated antigens, such as an elevated CA 19-9 (carbohydrate antigen 19-9) level. We may also check billirubin levels, as high levels can indicate blocked bile ducts.

Other lab tests may include:

  • Genomic tumor assessment: Genomic testing examines a tumor on a genetic level to find the DNA alterations that are driving the growth of cancer. By identifying the mutations that occur in a cancer cell's genome, we can better understand what caused the tumor and tailor treatment based on these findings. Learn more about genomic tumor assessment.
  • Nutrition panel: With this test, we evaluate patients for deficiency of nutrients, such as vitamin D and iron. The test helps us identify the nutrients patients need replaced or boosted to support their quality of life. Learn more about our Nutrition Therapy program.
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