Clinical chemistry uses chemical methods to determine the levels in body fluids and tissues of chemical components. Blood and urine are the most important substances used in clinical chemistry.
There are several different methods for detecting and measuring nearly every form of a chemical component in the blood or urine. Blood glucose, electrolytes, enzymes, hormones, lipids (fats), other metabolic substances, and proteins may be components for diagnosing cancer.
Some of the commonest laboratory tests are as follows:
Your evaluation can include conducting different Blood Tests including (but not limited to) cell counts, assessing various blood chemistries, and inflammation markers. We can calculate several things like salts, blood cell counts and heart-specific protein markers (one is called BNP) in your blood. Additional tests can include blood chemistries, liver and kidney function evaluations, and genetic studies). In certain cases, it may be advised to do genetic testing. We may also ask you to join our ongoing studies by enabling us to collect and store some of your blood for further study.
A complete blood count (CBC) is a Blood Test that examines the numbers and features of blood cells. Three types of cells it examines are red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs) and Platelets.
A CBC measures the following:
A CBC may be done to:
A CBC is normally performed in a laboratory or hospital.
You may be given specific instructions to obey before getting a CBC completed. Some medicines that influence the outcomes of CBC so you might be told to stop taking some medicines before a CBC. Check with the laboratory to see if any drugs should be stopped, and how long.
Typically the blood is drawn from a vein in the arm. To apply pressure to the wound, an elastic band (tourniquet) is wrapped around your upper arm to make it easier to see the veins. You may be told to make a palm so that the veins would stand out. It cleanses and disinfects the skin. A needle is placed into the vein, thus removes a small amount of blood. You may experience a sensation of pricks or stingings.
The blood is collected in a tube and marked with your name and other details that marks you. Occasionally more than one blood tube is collected. Remove the tourniquet, and remove the needle. When the needle is taken off, you can experience slight Pain. The pressure is applied before bleeding ceases in the region where the needle was inserted. You that put a small bandage on the area.
A medical expert (a medical technologist) analyses the extracted blood using microscopes and other special equipment.
The results of CBC are given as numbers and sometimes rely on other factors like sex, age and history of the medication. To have the significance they should be compared with a standard reference range or with previous tests. Normal ranges for CBCs can differ slightly from laboratory to laboratory.
Usually, a CBC contains general information which can provide hints to potential health issues for doctors. Input from a CBC lets doctors determine if a diagnosis needs more testing or procedures. It can also help the doctor to establish or update treatment plans.
The best person to describe your CBC findings and what they mean for you is a doctor familiar with your medical background and general health.
Popular terminology for explaining CBC outcomes are:
A low RBC count may be due to:
A high RBC count may be due to:
A low WBC count may be due to:
A high WBC count may be due to:
A low Platelet count may be due to:
A high Platelet count may be due to:
A Urinalysis is a group of tests done to examine your urine (pee). It finds and measures substances such as electrolytes, sugar (glucose), proteins, blood, cells and bacteria. It may also be called a urine test.
A Urinalysis is often done as part of a routine checkup, but it can be done at any time. It may be done to:
A Urinalysis is usually done in a laboratory or hospital.
You don't typically need any special preparation for a Urinalysis. But in some cases, special instructions will be given to you to obey before a Urinalysis is completed. You may be told not to eat or drink anything for several hours (called fasting) or to avoid other foods.
It stores the urine in a clean bottle. For urinalysis, a random sample of urine is most commonly obtained. This ensures it produces a small volume of urine at any time of day. But you may be asked to collect the urine at a particular time of day, like first thing in the morning.
The lab will give you directions about how to retrieve the urine and how long it should be stored. You should clean the genital region before collecting the urine sample (between the labia in women or the tip of the penis in men). Start urinating in the toilet (the first bit of urine you do not collect); Then collect any urine (called midstream urine or clean-catch) in the bottle.
A 24-hour sample of urine is often needed to help doctors better understand what is happening in the body. This ensures that all of the urine is collected over a 24-hour period. The urine is stored in a large container which often contains or has to be held cold with special preservatives. The laboratory will give you instructions for collecting the urine.
A research expert (a research technologist) then analyses the urine sample. The urine is analyzed with special paper strips (called dipsticks) and a microscope.
A Urinalysis offers general information which may offer clues to potential health issues for doctors. Urinalysis information lets physicians determine whether more testing or procedures are needed to make a diagnosis. The details will also assist the doctor in designing or revising treatment plans.
To have value, the findings of the Urinalysis should be contrasted with a standard reference set. A doctor understanding your medical background and general health is the best source to clarify the findings of your Urinalysis and what they mean for you.
A Urinalysis and its results are usually divided into 3 parts:
The following are some examples of Urinalysis results and what they may mean.
Standard urine is light to dark yellow and translucent. Some drugs or foods may cause an irregular colour in the urine. Cloudy urine can mean the sample contains blood cells or bacteria.
Urine is usually slightly acidic. Having urine that is very acid or very alkaline may mean you at increased risk of developing kidney stones (hard deposits of minerals such as Calcium that start forming in the kidney).
Certain substances are not usually found in urine.
Looking at urine through a microscope can find cells, parts of cells and bacteria or other germs.
Tumor markers are substances either released by cancer cells into the blood or urine or substances created by the body in response to cancer cells. Tumor Markers are used to evaluate how well a patient has responded to treatment and to check for Tumor recurrence. Research is currently being conducted on the role of Tumor Markers in detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancers.
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Tumor Markers are useful in identifying potential problems, but they must be used with other tests for the following reasons:
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is always present in low concentrations in the blood of adult males. An elevated PSA level in the blood may indicate prostate cancer, but other conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatitis can also raise PSA levels. PSA levels are used to evaluate how a patient has responded to treatment and to check for Tumor recurrence.
Prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) originates in the prostate and is normally present in small amounts in the blood. In addition to prostate cancer, elevated levels of PAP may indicate testicular cancer, leukaemia, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, as well as some noncancerous conditions.
Ovarian cancer is the most common cause of elevated CA 125, but cancers of the uterus, cervix, pancreas, liver, colon, breast, lung, and digestive tract can also raise CA 125 levels. Several noncancerous conditions can also elevate CA 125. CA 125 is mainly used to monitor the treatment of Ovarian Cancer.
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is normally found in small amounts in the blood. Colorectal Cancer is the most common cancer that raises this Tumor marker. Several other cancers can also raise levels of carcinoembryonic antigen.
Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is normally elevated in pregnant women since it is produced by the fetus. However, AFP is not usually found in the blood of adults. In men, and in women who are not pregnant, an elevated level of AFP may indicate Liver Cancer or cancer of the ovary or testicle. Noncancerous conditions may also cause elevated AFP levels.
Human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) is another substance that normally appears in pregnancy and is produced by the placenta. If pregnancy is ruled out, HCG may indicate cancer in the testis, ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, and lung. Marijuana use can also raise HCG levels.
The CA 19-9 marker is associated with cancers in the colon, stomach, and bile duct. Elevated levels of CA 19-9 may indicate advanced cancer in the pancreas, but it is also associated with noncancerous conditions, including gallstones, pancreatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, and cholecystitis.
The CA 15-3 marker is most useful in evaluating the effect of treatment for women with advanced Breast Cancer. Elevated levels of CA 15-3 are also associated with cancers of the ovary, lung, and prostate, as well as noncancerous conditions such as benign breast or ovarian disease, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and hepatitis. Pregnancy and lactation also can raise CA 15-3 levels.
The CA 27-29 marker, like CA 15-3, is used to follow the course of treatment in women with advanced Breast Cancer. Cancers of the colon, stomach, kidney, lung, ovary, pancreas, uterus, and liver may also raise CA 27-29 levels. Noncancerous conditions associated with this substance are first-trimester pregnancy, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, benign breast disease, kidney disease, and liver disease.
Lactate dyhydrogenase (LDH) LDH is a protein that normally appears throughout the body in small amounts. Many cancers can raise LDH levels, so it is not useful in identifying a specific kind of cancer. Measuring LDH levels can be helpful in monitoring treatment for cancer. Noncancerous conditions that can raise LDH levels include heart failure, hypothyroidism, anaemia, and lung or liver disease.
Neuroson-specific enolase (NSE) is associated with several cancers, but it is used most often to monitor treatment in patients with neuroblastoma or small cell Lung Cancer.
Tests to determine cellular characteristics and markers or substances released by bladder cancer cells into the urine.