Cancer Blood Test Options 

There are often certain blood tests that may prove to be helpful for some people with a cancer diagnosis. This list of different tests, though not completely comprehensive, is a general guide that patients may follow to help them understand the benefits of specific testing. No one test will be best for all people with a given type of cancer and not everyone will show positive cancer markers or other blood markers so testing is not relevant for everyone.

Bone Specific Alkaline Phosphatase (BAP) Test

This test measures blood levels of a form the enzyme Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) which is produced by the skeletal system.  Different types of ALP are produced by various systems throughout the body.  Bone ALP levels increase when the bones are growing.  Children who are still growing normally have higher levels of ALP as do people who are healing from one or more broken bones.  Abnormal Bone ALP levels are often associated with a number of disorders including Osteoporosis, Bone Cancer, and Paget’s disease.

Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP)

The Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) blood test can be used to screen or monitor treatment for certain types of cancer.  Elevated AFP levels in men and non-pregnant women are often indicative of cancers in the testicles, ovaries, stomach, pancreas, or liver.  Measuring AFP levels can help determine if a person has cancer, gauge how far along it is, or determine how effective their treatment is.  It is important to note that not all people will develop elevated AFP levels so negative results should not be considered definitive proof that a person is cancer free.  AFP may also be elevated in people with liver diseases such as Hepatitis or Cirrhosis.

Blood Tests for Cancer Patients 1

Blood samples are on a laboratory form for Finding out the blood values

Amylase Blood Test

This test measures the level of Amylase in the blood.  Amylase is an enzyme produced by the pancreas, which aids in digestion.  Elevated levels of Amylase can indicate a number of conditions such as pancreatitis, pancreatic tumor, or gallstones blocking the pancreatic duct.

Amylase testing is typically ordered when a person is experiencing symptoms of a pancreatic disorder such as abdominal or back pain, fever, loss of appetite or nausea.  It can also be used to monitor treatment for pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer or after having a gallstone removed.

Amylase testing is often done with a Lipase test.

 

Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH) Blood Test

This test measures the level of Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH) in the blood.  Antidiuretic Hormone is also known as Arginine Vasopressin (AVP).  ADH is a hormone, which helps to regulate how much water the kidneys absorb.  Typically, the body produces ADH in response to increased blood osmolality.  Osmolality refers to the amount of dissolved particles in the blood.  ADH production causes the kidneys to conserve water rather than release it from the body in urine.  The increased water causes the blood to be diluted which decreases osmolality.  Normal ADH production helps maintain a healthy water balance in the body.  ADH deficiency can result in frequent urination, dehydration, excessive thirst, and high sodium levels.  Excessive ADH levels can cause increased blood pressure, nausea, lethargy, disorientation, and low sodium levels.  Irregular ADH levels can be caused by a number of conditions including several types of diabetes and various forms of cancer.

An ADH test may be ordered when someone has symptoms such as headache, nausea, confusion, excessive thirst, or frequent urination.  It may be done as a follow-up to low blood sodium levels.  ADH is often measured along with osmolality.

Beta 2 (B2) Microglobulin Blood Test

This test measures the level of Beta-2 Microglobulin in the blood.  B2 Microglobulin is a protein found on the surface of many types of cells in the body. B2 levels are often increased in people with certain types of cancers such as Multiple Myeloma and Lymphoma.  Other conditions such as HIV or Cytomegalovirus may also increase B2-Microglobulin levels.  B2 is most often used as a tumor marker.  While it is not used as a screening, measuring B2 levels can help assess the severity of a person’s cancer.  It is also used in some cases to measure how effective someone’s treatment has been.

B2-Microglobulin testing is typically ordered after a person has been diagnosed with cancer such as Multiple Myeloma to determine what stage of the disease they are in.

CBC with Differential Blood Test

Complete Blood Count (CBC) with Differential is a broad screening test which can aid in the diagnosis of a variety of conditions and diseases such as Anemia, Leukemia, bleeding disorders, and infections. This test is also useful in monitoring a person’s reaction to treatment when a condition, which affects blood cells, has been diagnosed.

A CBC includes the following measurements:

  • White Blood Cell Count (WBC) WBC’s protect the body against infections.
  • Red Blood Cell Count (RBC) RBC’s carry oxygen throughout the body.
  • Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW) is the variation in size of the RBC’s.
  • Hematocrit measures the percentage of blood made of up red blood cells.
  • Hemoglobin is a protein, which carries oxygen in the blood.
  • Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) measures the average size of RBC’s.
  • Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH) measures the average amount of hemoglobin in a red blood cell.
  • Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) is the average percentage of hemoglobin in a red blood cell.
  • Platelet Count measures cell fragments, which are vital for proper blood clotting.
  • Percentage and absolute differential count for types of WBC’s including neutrophils, lymphocytesmonocyteseosinophils, and basophils.

A CBC is often ordered as part of a routine health examination. It is also ordered when someone has symptoms, which may indicate a condition which affects the blood cells or is undergoing treatment such as chemotherapy which affects blood cells. A CBC is often ordered with other common blood tests such as a comprehensive metabolic panel.

CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen) Blood Test

This test measures the level of Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) in the blood.  CEA is a protein which is often elevated in people with certain types of cancer.  CEA is used as a tumor marker for a variety of cancers including colon, breast, rectum, liver, pancreas, stomach and ovaries.  This test is not typically used as a screening for cancer because not all cancer cases will show elevated CEA and CEA can be elevated in other conditions such as cirrhosis, inflammation, ulcers, emphysema and benign breast disease as well as in people who smoke.

CEA is usually measured when a person is diagnosed with cancer and then subsequently to monitor their response to treatment.  While CEA is not typically used as a screening, it can be ordered when a person is suspected of having cancer but has not been diagnosed if a doctor determines it is relevant.

Calcitonin Blood Test

This test measures levels of Calcitonin in the blood.  Calcitonin is a hormone produced by the Thyroid Gland.  Calcitonin production helps regulate the body’s levels of calcium and phosphate.  In most cases, having a deficiency or overload of calcitonin does not cause any negative health effects.  For this reason, there is still a lack of research on the exact purpose calcitonin serves.

A rare form of thyroid cancer which affects the C-cells, the same cells which produce calcitonin, may cause levels to be elevated.  A calcitonin test may aid in the diagnosis when a person is suspected of having this form of cancer.  Calcitonin may also be used to treat people with osteoporosis or Paget’s disease.  In these cases, monitoring Calcitonin levels can help determine how well they are responding to therapy or find the optimal dosage.

Calcium Blood Test

This test measures Calcium levels in the blood.  Calcium is a mineral which is important for healthy functioning of the heart, muscles and nervous system as well as proper bone formation.  The body will pull calcium from the bones to maintain blood levels when a person is not ingesting enough calcium or has a disorder which prevents proper absorption.

Calcium testing is frequently part of a general health screening.  It may also be ordered when someone has kidney disease, thyroid disease, cancer, malabsorption or malnutrition.

A Calcium test is also included as part of a Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP), Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP), and Renal Function Panel.

This test measures total calcium levels, which include both free and bound.  An Ionized Calcium Serum test is available for those who wish to only measure the free or unbound portion of calcium and can be beneficial to measure destruction of bone.

Cancer Antigen (CA) 15-3 Blood Test

The Cancer Antigen 15-3 test is typically used to monitor people who have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  CA 15-3 is a protein which is typically elevated in people with cancerous breast tumors.  CA 15-3 may also be elevated in other types of cancer such as lung, pancreas, prostate, ovary and colon.  People with benign diseases of the liver and breast as well as other condition such as Cirrhosis or Hepatitis or even people who are healthy may see elevated CA 15-3 levels as well.  While CA 15-3 is not typically sensitive or specific enough to be used as a screening for breast cancer, it can be helpful for monitoring response to treatment or to look for a recurrence of cancer.

This test is typically ordered when a person has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer to determine how advanced it is as a monitoring test – though again, NOT all with breast cancer will show positive.  It may also be ordered periodically during treatment or when checking to see if the cancer had returned.

Cancer Antigen CA 19-9 Blood Test

The Cancer Antigen (CA) 19-9 test is often used to aid in the diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer.  CA 19-9 is a protein found on the surface of some cancer cells.  CA 19-9 is elevated in about 70-95% of pancreatic cancer cases.  It can also be elevated in cases of colorectal cancer, lung cancer and gallbladder cancer.  While a CA 19-9 test can be used to differentiate types of cancer or monitor response to treatment, it is not sensitive enough to be used as an initial screening by itself.

A CA 19-9 test is often ordered with other tests such as a CEA, Hepatic Function, or Bilirubin when a person is experiencing symptoms associated with Pancreatic Cancer.  It is also used to monitor how well a person is responding to treatment for pancreatic cancer.  Because not every person with pancreatic cancer will show elevated levels of CA 19-9, this test will not always be an effective tumor marker.

Cancer Antigen CA 27.29 Blood Test

The Cancer Antigen (CA) 27.29 test is used to monitor people with Breast Cancer.  CA 27.29 in a protein that is used as a tumor marker to gauge how advanced a person’s cancer is.  This test can also be used to determine how well a person is responding to treatment or therapy.  The CA 27.29 is not intended to be used as a screening.  This test is not considered specific enough to accurately determine if an undiagnosed person has breast cancer.  It is important to consult your doctor in determining the appropriate testing to aid in making a diagnosis.

Please note that test results from different labs and/or testing methods should not be used interchangeably.

This test may be ordered when a person has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer or to monitor their response to treatment.

Cancer Antigen 125 (CA 125) Blood Test

This test measures Cancer Antigen (CA) 125 in the blood.  CA-125 is a protein which is present on the surface of most ovarian cancer cells.  Elevated levels of CA-125 are often present in women with ovarian cancer.  CA-125 testing is typically done to monitor treatment for ovarian cancer or to periodically check someone who is in remission to see if the cancer may have come back.  This test is also used to screen women who have a high risk of developing ovarian cancer due to family history.

It is important to note that other conditions such as pregnancy, menstruation or pelvic inflammatory disease may also cause elevated levels of CA-125.  For this reason, CA-125 testing is not typically used as a general screening.  In some cases, even when someone has ovarian cancer, they may not show elevated CA-125.  In such cases, CA-125 is not a useful marker for monitoring treatment.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel Blood Test

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) is a broad screening test which is used to evaluate organ function and electrolyte balance as well as aid in the diagnosis of conditions such as diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease. This test is also useful for monitoring people receiving treatment for conditions which affect the liver or kidneys. The CMP contains all of the measurements in a Basic Metabolic Panel and most of the same measurements as a Hepatic Function Panel and a Renal Function Panel.

A CMP includes the following tests:

  • Glucose: Abnormal blood sugar levels can indicate a number of conditions including Diabetes.
  • BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen): Used to evaluate kidney function.
  • Creatinine: Used to Evaluate Kidney Function.
  • BUN/Creatinine Ratio: This calculation is only provided if the measurements for BUN or Creatinine are out of range or if the person tested is under the age of 19.
  • Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR): Used to screen for and detect early kidney damage.
  • Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Carbon Dioxide, Total: An improper electrolyte balance can indicate a number of conditions including dehydration, Addison’s disease, kidney disease, and Diabetes.
  • Calcium: Normal levels are important for healthy bones, heart, nerves, kidneys, and teeth.
  • Protein, Total: Aids in measuring Liver and Kidney function as well as nutritional status.
  • Albumin: A protein important for healthy liver and kidney function.
  • Globulin: A protein that helps the body fight infection and the blood to clot properly.
  • Albumin/Globulin Ratio: Can help identify various liver problems when combined with other test results.
  • Bilirubin, Total: Helps to identify conditions such as anemia, sickle cell, hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcohol, and drug abuse.
  • Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP): Used to detect liver disease or bone disorders.
  • Aspartate Amino Transferase (AST): Used to evaluate liver function, very high levels often indicate Hepatitis
  • Alanine Amino Transferase (ALT): Used to help identify liver damage.

A CMP is usually ordered as part of a routine health check. It may also be ordered when someone is experiencing symptoms which may indicate conditions affecting the liver or kidneys.

HTLV 1&2 Antibodies Blood Test

This test looks for antibodies which the body develops in response to infection with the Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV).  HTLV infects white blood cells which are important to the body’s immune system.  HTLV infection can be responsible for the development of a number of conditions including Leukemia, Lymphoma, and nervous system disorders.  The HTLV 1&2 Abs test detects and differentiates both type 1 and type 2 HTLV infections.

An estimated 15-20 million people worldwide suffer from HTLV infections.  HTLV is typically spread through sexual contact and exposure to infected blood, especially through intravenous drug use.  Infected mothers can spread the infection to their infants during pregnancy or breast feeding.  After infection, HTLV will remain in the body for life.  Some people will develop HTLV related illnesses months or years after their initial exposure.  Most HTLV infections show no symptoms.  An infected person can spread the virus to others even if they are asymptomatic.

Risk factors for HTLV infection include:

  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Being an IV drug user
  • Having a history of blood transfusions
  • Living in or having a sexual partner from parts of the world where HTLV is prevalent such as Southwestern Japan, parts of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Southeastern U.S.

HTLV testing is typically ordered to help identify or rule out HTLV as the cause of conditions such as Leukemia, Lymphoma, or nervous system disorders.  It can also be ordered by people who are concerned they have had an exposure to HTLV especially if they have been with someone who has also tested positive for HTLV antibodies..  Due to the common lack of symptoms, testing is recommended for anyone who engages in high risk activities.

Hemoglobin Blood Test

This test measures Hemoglobin in the blood.  Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells which enables them to bind with oxygen and carry it throughout the body.  Hemoglobin levels are affected by conditions which cause a rise or drop in red blood cell levels.  Low hemoglobin is often indicative of anemia which can be caused by excessive blood loss, nutritional deficiencies such as iron or B12, bone marrow disorders or kidney damage.  Higher than normal hemoglobin can be caused by dehydration, lung disease, heart disease or kidney tumors

Hemoglobin is often measured as part of routine general health blood work.  It is also measured when a person is suspected of having anemia due to symptoms such as fatigue, lack of energy, paleness, shortness of breath or fainting.  It can also be ordered to monitor treatment for anemia.

Hemoglobin is also part of a Complete Blood Count (CBC).

Hepatic Function Blood Test

The Hepatic Function test (Liver Function Panel) is a common health screening that can help to identify conditions affecting the liver. This test is also used to monitor people who are being treated for liver disease.

The Hepatic Function Panel includes the following tests:

  • Alanine Amino Transferase (ALT): An enzyme produced by the liver which is typically elevated in cases of liver damage.
  • Aspartate Amino Transferase (AST): A liver enzyme which is typically elevated in cases of liver damage or Hepatitis.
  • Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP): An enzyme found in the liver and bones which is increased when there is liver or bone damage.
  • Protein, Total: A measure of albumin and all other proteins on the blood.
  • Albumin: The main protein produced by the liver.
  • Bilirubin, Total: Helps to identify conditions such as anemia , sickle cell, hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Bilirubin Direct: Used in conjunction with Total Bilirubin to aid in the diagnosis of liver disorders.
  • Globulin (calculated) and Albumin/Globulin ratio
  • Bilirubin, Indirect calculated

A Hepatic Function Panel is usually ordered as a general health screening. It can also be ordered when someone is experiencing symptoms associated with liver disorders or has risk factors for Liver Disease. Risk factors can include heavy alcohol use, diabetes, possible exposure to Hepatitis viruses, a family history of liver disease, high blood pressure, and taking medications which may damage the liver.

Immunoglobulin Antibody Blood Test IgA IgG IgM

This Immunoglobulin test measures levels of 3 classes of immunoglobulins in the blood.  Results will include measurements for Immunoglobulin A (IgA), Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and Immunoglobulin M (IgM).  Immunoglobulins, or antibodies, are an important part of the immune system which fight off bacteria, viruses and other foreign organisms. Measuring Immunoglobulin levels can help evaluate a person’s immune system.

This test may be ordered when a person is suffering from chronic infections, especially of the lungs or gastrointestinal tract.  It can also help to diagnose various conditions resulting in excess or deficiencies in one or more types of antibodies.  Abnormal results will typically need to be followed up with further testing.

Insulin-like Growth Factor IGF 2 Test

This test measures levels of Insulin-like Growth Factor 2 (IGF-2) in the blood.  IGF-2 is a hormone produced by the liver.  Its primary function is to regulate the production of Growth Hormone (GH) during growth and development of a fetus during gestation.  IGF-2 is also linked to the production of other hormones including Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1), Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Progesterone.  Deficiency in IGF-2 can contribute to growth problems in children.  Certain types of tumors can produce an excess of IGF-2.  As a result, measuring IGF-2 levels can be useful in the diagnosis or monitoring of treatment for some types of cancer including prostate, colon, breast and colorectal.

Lactic Acid Dehydrogenase Blood Test

This test measures Lactic Acid Dehydrogenase (LDH) in the blood.  LDH is an enzyme found in most cells in the body.  Typically, only a small amount of LDH is detectable in the blood.  When cells are damaged, LDH is released into the blood causing levels to rise.  Measuring LDH levels can indicate if there is tissue damage somewhere in the body.  Conditions which can result in elevated LDH levels include anemia, meningitis, mononucleosis, HIV, sepsis, liver disease, kidney disease, muscle injury, broken bones and some types of cancers.

An LDH blood test is typically ordered along with a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) when a person is suspected of having a disease which causes tissue damage.  Because an LDH test cannot identify where in the body the damage is, follow up testing will usually be necessary.  LDH may also be used to monitor treatment for conditions such as cancer.

Natural Killer Cell and Activated T-Cell Test

This test provides several measurements related to the immune system including Natural Killer Cells (NK). Natural Killer Cells (NK Cells) are a type of lymphocyte, or white blood cell, which play an important role in the body’s immune system.  NK cells help to kill tumor cells or cells infected with a virus.  NK cells are identified and differentiated from other types of immune cells by certain antigens called CD proteins.  NK cells are CD56 positive and CD3 negative.  The measurements in this test can help assess the level of NK cells as well as their state of activation.  Results for this test should be interpreted by a person’s doctor.

This test includes:

  • Percentage CD3+
  • Absolute CD3+
  • Percentage CD3+CD25+ (IL-2 Receptor)
  • Absolute CD3+CD25+
  • Percentage CD3-CD56+ (NK)
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)

This test can be useful in diagnosing or monitoring treatment to conditions such as leukemia, viral hepatitis, and HIV.

Occult Blood Fecal Test

Fecal Occult Blood Test looks for the presence of microscopic or invisible blood in the stool.  Blood in the stool can be a sign of a number of conditions such as

  • Abnormal growths or polyps in the colon
  • Cancer in the colon or rectum
  • Anemia
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Intestinal infections
  • Ulcers
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Diverticular Disease

This test is commonly ordered as a routine screening to aid in the early detection of Colon Cancer.  Yearly testing is recommended for people age 50 and above.  This test may also be ordered by people experiencing symptoms of anemia.

Because certain conditions may cause intermittent bleeding, results from multiple specimens may be required for results to be conclusive.  If blood is detected, it is important that a doctor is consulted to determine a diagnosis.  Additional procedures such as a colonoscopy may be required.

PSA Ultrasensitive Blood Test

The PSA Ultrasensitive Test measures the level of Prostate Specific Antigen in the blood.  PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland.  Typically, elevated PSA levels are indicative of an increased risk of having Prostate Cancer.  This test is more sensitive than a regular PSA test and is able to detect PSA in smaller amounts.  This test is typically used to monitor men who are receiving treatment or have had surgery for Prostate Cancer.  The PSA Ultrasensitive Test is not typically used as an initial screening for Prostate Cancer.  For this purpose, most customers order the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test.

PSA – Prostate Specific Antigen Test

The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test is a common screening for prostate cancer. This test measures a protein that is produced by the prostate gland. Elevated PSA levels may indicate a higher likelihood of having prostate cancer. The PSA test is also used to monitor a person’s response to cancer treatment.

It is important to note that not all cases of prostate cancer will show elevated total PSA levels and there are other conditions which may cause higher PSA levels besides cancer.

Prostate Specific Antigen Free: Total Ratio Test

The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Free:Total Ratio provides several measurements which help to screen for prostate cancer. This test includes measurements for PSA, Free PSA and % Free PSA. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate gland. Elevated PSA levels may indicate a higher likelihood of having prostate cancer. However, not all cases of prostate cancer will cause elevated PSA levels and there are conditions other than cancer which may cause elevated PSA.

Free PSA is the portion of PSA which is not bound to other proteins in the blood. Generally, men with lower levels of Free PSA have a higher likelihood of having Prostate Cancer. Free PSA measurements are useful for people with borderline or moderately increased total PSA levels. A test which includes Free PSA is often ordered as a follow up to a high PSA test.

Total Protein Blood Test

This test measures Protein levels in the blood.  Proteins are an essential part of the tissues and cells that make up the body.  This test measures the total amount of all proteins (including albumin and globulins) in a person’s blood.  Measuring protein is a part of most routine general health checks.  Protein measurements are a reflection of a number of health conditions including nutritional status, liver and kidney function.

Protein testing is often done as part of routine blood work for general wellness.  It may also be used to aid in diagnosing or monitoring liver and kidney disease.  It may be used to evaluate nutritional status when someone has experienced unexplained weight loss or shows signs of malnutrition.

A Protein test is also included in a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel and a Hepatic Function test.

Renal (Kidney) Function Panel

Renal Function Panel (Kidney Function Test) is a common health screening used to help detect conditions affecting the kidneys. It can also be used to monitor people who are receiving treatment for illnesses affecting the kidneys.

A Renal Panel includes the following tests:

  • Glucose: Abnormal blood sugar levels can indicate a number of conditions including Diabetes. Over time, high glucose levels can damage the kidneys.
  • BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen): A waste product filtered through the kidneys.  Used to evaluate kidney function.
  • Creatinine: A waste product produced by the muscles which is filtered through the kidneys.  Used to Evaluate Kidney Function.
  • BUN/Creatinine Ratio: This measurement can indicate kidney disease or conditions such as dehydration or intestinal bleeding.
  • Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR): The amount of blood filtered by the kidneys.  Used to screen for and detect early kidney damage.
  • Calcium: Normal levels are important for healthy bones, heart, nerves, kidneys, and teeth.
  • Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Carbon Dioxide, Total: An improper electrolyte balance can indicate a number of conditions including dehydration, Addison’s disease, kidney disease, and Diabetes.
  • Albumin: A protein important for healthy liver and kidney function.
  • Phosphorus/Phosphate: Low levels of phosphorus can be indicative of a number of illnesses while high levels may be a symptom of kidney failure.

This panel is typically ordered as part of a general health screening. It may also be ordered when someone has symptoms which may indicate kidney disease or is being treated for kidney disease.

Vitamin D, 1, 25-dihydroxy Blood Test

This test is used to measure Vitamin D levels in the blood.  The Vitamin D 25-Dihydroxy test measures the active form of Vitamin D which is produced in the liver and kidneys through the conversion of Vitamin D 25-Hydroxy.  This test is not typically used as a routine measurement to assess if a person has a vitamin D deficiency because it may show normal results even if a person has an overall deficiency.  It is more useful when a person is suspected of having a condition which is producing an excess of vitamin D such as Sarcoidosis or certain types of Lymphoma.  This test may also be ordered to aid in the diagnosis or Parathyroid disorder or kidney failure.

For a test which is more commonly used to detect if a person may be suffering from a Vitamin D Deficiency, customers may order the Vitamin D 25-Hydroxy Test.

Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy Blood Test

This test is used to measure the level of Vitamin D in the blood.  Vitamin D is necessary for the proper growth and health of teeth and bones.  It also helps in the healthy developments of the immune system as well as various tissues throughout the body.  Vitamin D typically comes from 2 sources.  D3 (cholecalciferol) is produced by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight.  For many people, D3 makes up the majority of the vitamin D in their body.  D2 (ergocalciferol) is found in certain foods as well as vitamins and supplements.  This test provides a combined measurement for D2 and D3.

Vitamin D deficiency is typically caused by someone not getting enough sun exposure.  While Vitamin D is found in some foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks, milk and cheese, the majority of people do not get sufficient vitamin D from their diet so exposure to sunlight is the primary source.  Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can include tiredness, weakness, aches and pains and frequent infections.  Conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis and Crohn’s Disease which interfere with the body’s ability to absorb fat and fat-soluble vitamins can also cause vitamin D deficiency.

This test is typically ordered when someone had signs of vitamin D deficiency which can include conditions affecting the bones such as Rickets or Osteoporosis.

Patients may also order a Vitamin D, 1, 25-Dihydroxy Test which can aid in the diagnosis of conditions which cause excessive vitamin D production.

 

For more information on running different tests, we suggest you ask your local doctor or contact our clinic.