NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Stage IV Breast Cancer - page 13

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
Stage IV Breast Cancer, Version 1.2014
11
2
Treatment planning
Blood tests
Blood tests
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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