NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Kidney Cancer, Version 1.2017
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 (
hosphatase). High levels of ALP may mean that the
cancer has spread to the bone or liver.
Guide 1. Blood chemistry tests
Chemical name Why it’s important
• 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
• Abnormal levels of calcium may also be a sign that your kidneys aren’t working well.
• 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
• 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 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