NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Stages I and II Breast Cancer - page 13

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
Stages I and II Breast Cancer, Version 1.2014
13
2
Treatment planning
General health tests | Blood tests
see if they feel normal. Your breasts may be felt while
you sit or stand up as well as when you recline. This
is called a CBE (
c
linical
b
reast
e
xam). Besides your
breasts, other parts of your body will be felt to see if
organs are of normal size, are soft or hard, or cause
pain when touched.
Blood tests
Looking for signs of disease
Doctors test blood to look for signs of disease. Blood
is often removed from a vein in the inside of the elbow
by a needle. The needle may bruise your skin and
you may feel dizzy from the blood draw. Your blood
will be sent to a lab for testing.
CBC test
A CBC (
c
omplete
b
lood
c
ount) measures the number
of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. It
is important to know if you have enough red blood
cells to carry oxygen to your tissues, white blood cells
to fight infections, and platelets to clot blood in open
wounds. Your blood counts may be low because the
cancer has spread into your bones or because of
another health problem.
Liver function tests
Your liver is an organ in the upper right side of your
abdomen. It does many important jobs, such as
remove toxins from your blood. Liver function tests
assess for chemicals that are made or processed by
the liver. Levels that are too high or low may signal
that the cancer has spread to the liver. One such
chemical is ALP (
a
lka
l
ine
p
hosphatase). High levels
of ALP may mean that the cancer has spread to the
bone or liver.
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