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20

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

:

Kidney Cancer, Version 1.2017

2

Testing

Blood tests

Blood chemistry tests are given with other initial tests

when kidney cancer is first found or suspected. They

may also be given during and after cancer treatment

to check treatment results.

A blood chemistry panel is a common test doctors

give to people who have or might have kidney

cancer. A blood chemistry panel measures many

different chemicals in one sample of blood. Some of

the main chemicals your doctor will assess with the

blood chemistry panel are described in Guide 1.

The panel will likely also include liver function tests

to assess the health of your liver. Your liver does

many important jobs, such as remove toxins from

your blood. Liver function tests measure chemicals

that are made or processed by the liver. Levels that

are too high or low may be a sign of liver damage or

cancer spread. 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.

See Guide

1

for details.

Guide 1. Blood chemistry tests

Chemical name Why it’s important

Calcium

• Calcium is a mineral mostly found in bones.

• High levels of calcium in your blood may be a sign that cancer has spread to your

bones.

• Abnormal levels of calcium may also be a sign that your kidneys aren’t working well.

Creatinine

• Creatinine is waste from muscles that is filtered out of blood by the kidneys.

• High levels of creatinine in the blood may be a sign that the kidneys aren’t working

well.

Urea

• Urea is a waste product made by the liver and filtered out of blood by the kidneys.

• High levels of urea in the blood may be a sign that the kidneys aren’t working well.

ALP

• ALP is a protein found in most tissues in the body, including the liver and bones.

• High levels of ALP in your blood may be a sign that cancer has spread to your liver or

bones.