Laboratory tests help physicians to prescribe or adjust your cancer treatment plan.
At Optim Oncology, we provide lab services and testing that are important in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Please be aware that the time required to get results for tests varies. Test results can be affected by several factors such as age, medications, or when a person last ate. The prescribing doctor will receive your results as soon as they are available, and will discuss the results with you at your next appointment.
Why are Laboratory Tests Performed?
Lab tests are performed for many reasons, including:
- To confirm a diagnosis
- To screen for a disease
- To help rule out a condition
- To assess the state of a disease
- To determine the cause of symptoms
How are Laboratory Tests Used in Cancer Medicine?
Laboratory tests are used as part of the cancer treatment process in a variety of ways including:
- Screening for cancer or precancerous conditions before a person has any symptoms of disease
- To help diagnose the presence of cancer and the type
- To provide information about the stage of a cancer (that is, its severity); for malignant or cancerous tumors, this includes the size and/or extent (reach) of the original (primary) tumor and whether or not the tumor has spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body
- To plan cancer treatment
- To monitor a patient’s general health during treatment and to check for potential side effects of the treatment
- To determine whether a cancer is responding to treatment
- To find out whether a cancer has recurred (come back)
Which Laboratory Tests are Used in Cancer Medicine?
A common test used in cancer medicine is the Complete Blood Count (CBC). It measures the different type of blood cells, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, in a sample of blood. This test also measures the amount of hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen) in the blood, the percentage of the total blood volume that is taken up by red blood cells (hematocrit), the size of the red blood cells, and the amount of hemoglobin in red blood cells.
Other common laboratory tests used in cancer medicine are:
- Blood Chemistry Test
- Cancer Gene Mutation Testing
- Cytogenetic Analysis
- Sputum Cytology (Sputum Culture)
- Tumor Marker Tests
- Urine Cytology
* Lab staff perform testing and procedures ordered by your physician. Optim Oncology patients can request results online through our patient portal.