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It measures several components of blood, including red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), hemoglobin, hematocrit, and platelets.

A Complete Blood Count (CBC) test is a fundamental medical screening tool for evaluating overall health and detecting a wide range of disorders, including anemia, infection, and even cancer. This article will guide you through what a CBC entails, the specific tests included, and their utility in suspecting cancer. 

What is CBC Test?  

A CBC test, or Complete Blood Count, may also be termed CBC Blood Test, Full Blood Count and Cell Blood Count, is a blood panel doctors order to evaluate a patient's general health status. It measures several components of blood, including red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), hemoglobin, hematocrit, and platelets. Each component can tell much about your health and help diagnose various conditions. The test is often one of the first tests doctors use to look for signs of disorders such as anemia, infection, and many other diseases. 

What Tests are Included in a CBC? 

The CBC includes several specific tests that measure the different components of blood. The core constituents are: 

  • Red Blood Cells (RBCs): These cells carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body and return carbon dioxide from the body to your lungs to be exhaled. 
  • White Blood Cells (WBCs): They are part of the immune system and help your body fight infection. There are different types of WBCs (neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils) that the CBC measures. 
  • Hemoglobin: This is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Its levels indicate the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen. 
  • Hematocrit: This test measures the proportion of red blood cells in your blood. 
  • Platelets: These help with blood clotting. The CBC measures the number of platelets in your blood.

May CBC Blood Test Indicate Cancer?

While the CBC test is not used to diagnose cancer directly, it may give clues to suspect cancer or other conditions that might require further investigation. For instance: 

  • Very High white blood cell count: This could be a sign of leukemia, a type of blood cancer. 
  • Low hemoglobin or low hematocrit levels: These might suggest anemia, which can be linked to some cancers like colon cancer if caused by bleeding. 
  • Abnormal platelet count: Either too high or too low platelet counts can indicate a potential issue, including the possibility of cancer. 

The CBC test is a crucial diagnostic tool in medicine. It provides valuable information about the general health status of a person and helps in diagnosing a variety of conditions, including infections, anemia, and different types of cancer. Understanding what the CBC entails and what the results mean can help you better understand your health and prepare for informed discussions with your healthcare provider. If your CBC test results are abnormal, it's essential to follow up with your doctor for further investigations to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment. 

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Please note that all medical articles featured on our website have been reviewed by qualified healthcare doctors. The articles are for general information only and are not medical opinions nor should the contents be used to replace the need for a personal consultation with a qualified medical professional on the reader's medical condition.