Articles on Medical Diseases and Conditions

Entries for the ‘Laboratory Aspects of Cancer’ Category

Miscellaneous Cancer Tests

Serum lactic dehydrogenase. Serum LDH levels are sometimes elevated in extensive carcinomatosis, often without any obvious reason. This is especially true in lymphoma, where it may be abnormal in up to 50% cases. However, LDH levels can be elevated in many conditions, which considerably lessens its usefulness in cancer diagnosis. Carcinoma antigen 19-9. CA 19-9 […]

Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia (MEN) Syndromes

These syndromes have been mentioned in the discussion of certain tumors that may be associated with MEN. These syndromes are familial, with types I and II being inherited as an autosomal dominant disorder. About one half of type III cases are sporadic. Some cases of incomplete or overlapping organ tumor patterns have been reported. Although […]

Effusions and Tests for Cancer

In general, when an effusion occurs, the problem is differentiation among neoplastic, infectious, and fluid leakage etiologies. Effusions due to neoplasms or infection are frequently termed exudates and those due to hydrostatic leakage from vessels are called transudates. Several criteria have been proposed to separate transudates and exudates and to differentiate among the three major […]

Metastatic Carcinoma to Bone

About 27% of all cancer patients have some metastases at autopsy. Any carcinoma, lymphoma, or sarcoma may metastasize to bone, although those primary in certain organs do so much more frequently than others. Prostate, breast, lung, kidney, and thyroid are the most common carcinomas. Once in bone they may cause local destruction that is manifested […]


Thyroid carcinoma seems to have generated a considerable number of misconceptions. About 20% of these tumors are “pure” papillary, about 10% pure follicular, about 50% mixed papillary and follicular, and about 5% (range, 2%–10%) are called medullary. However, the pure papillary carcinoma usually has a few follicular elements if enough histologic sections are made, and […]


AFP and beta subunit chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels by EIA methods are elevated in certain gonadal tumors. In general, pure seminomas fail to produce AFP, whereas hCG production in seminoma ranges from 0%–37%. Some 70% or more of patients with embryonal cell carcinoma and malignant teratoma have elevated AFP levels, and 40%–60% or more have […]

Sympathetic Nervous System

Neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma is the most common nonhematologic extracranial tumor of childhood and is the most frequent abdominal malignant mass lesion except for Wilm’s tumor between ages 1-4 years. Treatment by combined radiation and chemotherapy produces excellent results in sufficient patients that diagnosis has become of more than academic interest. It usually presents as an abdominal […]

Central Nervous System

In primary brain tumor, cerebrospinal fluid protein level is elevated in up to 70% of patients and cell count in about 30% of cases. One or the other is abnormal in 65%–80% of cases. Electroencephalogram (EEG) is abnormal in about 70%–75% of patients (literature range, 70%–92%), brain scan in about 80%–85% (65%–96%), and CT in […]


Tumor in the liver is most often metastatic. The liver receives metastases more frequently than any other organ, since 25%–50% of all metastasizing cancers reach the liver. The GI tract (including the pancreas), breast, kidney, lung, melanomas, and sarcomas are especially apt to produce hepatic metastases. Tests for detection include alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyltransferase, liver scan […]


Chest x-ray films. Chest x-ray films have been the usual means of detecting lung cancer. Unfortunately, best results are obtained from the less common peripheral lesions rather than the more usual bronchogenic carcinomas arising in major bronchi. In general, chest x-ray films are not an efficient means of early diagnosis, and this is especially true […]