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Blood examinations

In addition to the normal hemogram it is mainly the so-called tumor markers that are supposed to indicate that a cancer event is occurring in the body. Tumor markers are “tumor-associated signal substances”, whose occurrence in human blood is supposed to be linked with the occurrence and growth of malignant tumors. Primarily doctors differentiate 2 groups:

1.a Non-specific substances which accompany tumor growth, such as plasma protein changes (BSG, acute-phase proteins), iron metabolism disorders (ferritin, transferin), enzyme and isoenzyme increases (LDH, AP).

1.b Specific substances that are produced by the cancer itself, such as the onco-fetal antigens (AFP, CEA), the onco-placen-tal antigens (placental-HCG, HPLAP), the membrane anti-gens/hybridoma-defined tumor antigens (CA 19-9, CA 15-3, CA 125, SCC), as well as substances/hormones like (ACTH, PTH, STH, VIP (polypeptides).

With the exception of thyroglobulin (thyroid gland) and PSA (prostate) no tumor markers are organ-specific. Thus the CEA value can be increased with the intestinal, pancreatic, mam-mary, stomach and bronchial carcinoma. Often tests are com-bined, such as for breast cancer, CEA and CA 15-3, or for gamete tumors, AFP and HCG.

List of tumor markers and the associated tumors

CEA Stomach -, Colon, Breast and Lungcancer
AFP Germ cell tumors, Liver
CA 19-9 Pankreas -, stomach -, bile duct -, Ovarian CA
CA 12-5 Epithelial Ovarin CA
CA 15-3 Breast-, Ovarian -, Corpus CA
PSA Prostate
NSE Smallcell Lungcancer, Seminoma, Neuroblastoma
SCC Squamos CA
CT Thyroid CA (medullar, C-cell)
TG Thyroid CA (papillary)
TPA Surface activity marker
ß2-Mikroglobulin Lymphomas, Plasmocytoma
M2PK Colon CA

List of tumors and the associated tumor markers

Otorhinolaryngology SCC, CEA, TPA
Thyroid CA (papillary) TG, TPA
Thyroid CA (medullar, C-cell) Calcitonin, NSE
Lung cancer CYFRA
 – squamos SCC, CEA
 – small cell NSE, CEA
 – adeno CA CEA
Breast CA 15-3, MCA, CEA
Pancreatic CA CA 19-9, TPA
Stomach cancer CA 19-9, CEA
Colon cancer
Liver CA CEA, CA 19-9, M2PK
 – hepatocellular AFP
 – cholangior CA 19-9
 – metastatic CEA
Ovarian CA
 – epithelial CA 12-5, TPA
 – muzinous CA 19-9
Testicular cancer
 – Seminom HCG, SCC
 – Non Seminom AFP, HCG
Prostate cancer PSA-RIA
Bladder cancer CEA, TPA
Plasmocytoma ß2-Mikroglobulin
Lymphomas TPA (Ferritin)

I do not dare evaluate how precisely tumor markers indicate a cancer event, and I particularly do not dare evaluate what an increase or lowering of the values really mean, because there are just as many different statements on this as there are tumor markers themselves. I know many patients whose tumor markers in part have drastically increased, and who shortly thereafter returned to health, and I know other patients who died after the increase. I have also documented many cases in which patients with completely normal tumor markers died, and other cases in which patients whose tumor marker levels have been increased for many years did not show symptoms. Interestingly enough tumor markers often increase before tumors become smaller. And precisely at this moment patients frequently come to the doctor and…

1.c. Immune status

Naturally for all blood tests it must be mentioned that for can-cer the primary importance is what is happening in the cell; what is found in the blood is of lesser importance. Particularly this applies for that which doctors refer to as an immune sta-tus. In this regard special cell groups should be considered in more detail in a blood test. Primarily the following cell types are examined:

Cell types  Standard values
Leucocytes 4000–8000
Lymphocytes T- 20–50
Lymphocytes B- 60–75
Lymphocytes 5–20
T4-helper cells 30–50
T8-Suppressors 20–30
T8-Cytotoxic 3–16
NK-cells 10–14

These cell types can be subdivided even further, for example into LAK cells, etc. But here the question quickly arises as to why. On one hand these examinations, which unfortunately are very expensive, permit an assessment of the progress of the cancer. On the other hand, I experience again and again that patients and oncologists totally depend on these values in the sense of: “How are you doing Ms. Miller?” “Thank you Dr., my killer cells have already increased by 2.3%.” Here as well the idea is that patients also die if the population of killer cells doubles. We know far too little about their significance. What is sold today in this area as “scientific” much more rem-iniscent of Wall Street than it is of a physician’s practice.

Free yourself of blood tests. Please do not misunderstand. I am not against these tests, I just do not think that you should go to your doctor full of fear each time because you do not know which blood values you have. And when you have start-ed listening to your inner self, you will not require most of these blood tests anyway.

BOOKS
Read more about Blood examinations by reading a book.

Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer Series: Colorectal Cancer: Expert Consult (Early Diagnosis in Cancer)

Mosby’s Guide to Physical Examination – E-Book

Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods E-Book

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