Cancer and Tumor Marker Men's Screening

Cancer and Tumor Marker Men's Screening and health information

Order the cancer screening blood tests for men online with Ulta Lab Tests, and get affordable, accurate blood work with confidential results in 24 to 48 hours, so order today!

These are the most common cancers in men: 

  • Prostate cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Melanoma skin cancer.
SEE BELOW THE LIST OF TESTS FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT – Men's Cancer and Tumor Marker Screening Blood Tests


Name Matches
  • Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) and AFP-L3 [ 19529 ]
  • CA 19-9 [ 4698 ]
  • PSA, Free and Total [ 31348 ]

  • Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) and AFP-L3 [ 19529 ]
  • Amylase [ 243 ]
  • CA 19-9 [ 4698 ]
  • CBC (includes Differential and Platelets) [ 6399 ]
  • CEA [ 978 ]
  • Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD) [ 593 ]
  • PSA, Free and Total [ 31348 ]
  • Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb) [ 267 ]
     

  • Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) and AFP-L3 [ 19529 ]
  • Amylase [ 243 ]
  • CA 19-9 [ 4698 ]
  • CBC (includes Differential and Platelets) [ 6399 ]
  • CEA [ 978 ]
  • Fecal Globin by Immunochemistry (InSure®) [ 11290 ]
  • Gastrin [ 478 ]
  • hCG, Total, Quantitative [ 8396 ]
  • Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD) [ 593 ]
  • PSA, Free and Total [ 31348 ]
  • Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb) [ 267 ]
     

  • Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) and AFP-L3 [ 19529 ]
  • Amylase [ 243 ]
  • CA 19-9 [ 4698 ]
  • Calcitonin [ 30742 ]
  • CBC (includes Differential and Platelets) [ 6399 ]
  • CEA [ 978 ]
  • DCP (Des-Gamma-Carboxy-Prothrombin) [ 19982 ]
  • Fecal Globin by Immunochemistry (InSure®) [ 11290 ]
  • Gastrin [ 478 ]
  • hCG, Total, Quantitative [ 8396 ]
  • Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD) [ 593 ]
  • PSA, Free and Total [ 31348 ]
  • Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb) [ 267 ]
     





Description: The Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test is a blood test used to detect the protein alpha-fetoprotein which is produced by the liver.

Also Known As: AFP Test, Total AFP Test, AFP-L3 Test, Alpha-Fetoprotein Tumor Markers, Alpha-Fetoprotein Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test ordered?

An AFP blood test may be ordered by a healthcare provider:

  • When abdominal masses are felt during a medical examination or imaging testing reveal possible malignancies, it is likely that someone has liver cancer or certain malignancies of the testicles or ovaries.
  • When someone has been diagnosed with and treated for cancer of the liver, testicles, or ovaries, the success of treatment is being assessed.
  • When someone is being watched for a recurrence of cancer
  • Patients with persistent hepatitis or liver cirrhosis should be followed up on.
  • When a person has chronic liver illness, an AFP-L3 percent is occasionally ordered to help evaluate the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, test the efficiency of hepatocellular carcinoma treatment, or monitor for recurrence.

What does an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 blood test check for?

Alpha-fetoprotein is a protein produced predominantly by the liver of a developing baby and the yolk cavity of a developing embryo. When a baby is born, AFP levels are usually high and then rapidly drop. Liver injury and certain malignancies can drastically raise AFP levels. This test determines the amount of AFP in your blood.

When the liver cells regenerate, AFP is generated. AFP can be continuously high in chronic liver illnesses such hepatitis and cirrhosis. Certain cancers can produce extremely high quantities of AFP. Because of this, the AFP test can be used as a tumor marker. Many persons with hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatoblastoma, a kind of liver cancer that affects babies, have elevated levels of AFP. They're also discovered in certain persons who have testicular or ovarian cancer.

There are various different types of AFP. The normal AFP test measures total AFP, which includes all of the AFP variations. In the United States, this is the most common AFP test.

One of the AFP variations is known as L3 because of its propensity to attach to a protein called Lens culinaris agglutinin in the lab. The AFP-L3 percent test compares the quantity of AFP-L3 to the total amount of AFP and is a relatively recent test. Increased L3 levels are linked to a higher likelihood of developing hepatocellular carcinoma in the near future, as well as a worse prognosis, because L3-related malignancies are more aggressive.

AFP-L3 can be higher in people with hepatocellular carcinoma than in those with benign liver disorders who have low total AFP. In Japan, tumor markers such as total AFP and AFP-L3 are utilized in conjunction with ultrasound to monitor hepatocellular carcinoma. This procedure differs from that in the United States and Europe, but healthcare practitioners in the United States occasionally order the two tests.

Lab tests often ordered with an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test:

  • CEA
  • CA-125
  • hCG Tumor Marker
  • DCP

Conditions where an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test is recommended:

  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer

How does my health care provider use an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test?

The tumor marker alpha-fetoprotein is used to detect and diagnose malignancies of the liver, testicles, and ovaries. Despite the fact that the test is frequently done to monitor persons with chronic liver illnesses including cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis B, or hepatitis C who have an elevated lifetime risk of developing liver cancer, most current guidelines do not advocate it. An AFP test, together with imaging studies, may be ordered by a healthcare provider to try to diagnose liver cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages.

If a person has been diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma or another type of AFP-producing cancer, an AFP test may be done on a regular basis to assess treatment response and disease recurrence.

When comparing the amount of the AFP variation AFP-L3 to the total amount of AFP, an AFP-L3 percent is occasionally ordered. The AFP-L3 percent test is not extensively used in the United States, but it is becoming more popular in other nations, such as Japan. The test is used to assess the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, particularly in people with chronic liver disease, as well as the response of the cancer to treatment.

What do my Alpha-fetoprotein test results mean?

Increased AFP levels can suggest the presence of cancer, such as liver cancer, ovarian cancer, or testicular germ cell tumors. However, not all cancers of the liver, ovary, or testicles produce substantial amounts of AFP.

Other malignancies, such as stomach, colon, lung, breast, and lymphoma, might sometimes have elevated levels, but it is rarely ordered to check these illnesses. Cirrhosis and hepatitis are two disorders that can generate elevated levels.

When using AFP as a monitoring tool, lower levels suggest a therapeutic response. If concentrations do not considerably drop after cancer therapy, usually to normal or near-normal levels, some tumor tissue may still be present.

If AFP levels start to rise, the cancer is most likely to return. However, because AFP levels can be deceiving in hepatitis or cirrhosis, AFP levels can be misleading. If AFP levels are not raised prior to therapy, the test will not be useful in monitoring treatment effectiveness or detecting recurrence.

People with chronic liver disease have a higher chance of getting liver cancer when their AFP levels rise from normal to moderately raised to significantly elevated. When total AFP and AFP-L3 percent are highly higher, the person is more likely to develop or have hepatocellular carcinoma in the next year or two. In persons with chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis, however, both AFP and AFP-L3 percent concentrations might be increased and fluctuate. In these circumstances, a significant increase in AFP is more essential than the test result's numerical value.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: Amylase is a blood test that is used to measure the amount of amylase in the blood’s serum. It is used to assess for and detect a pancreatic disorder.

Also Known As: Amy Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Amylase test ordered?

When a person displays symptoms of a pancreatic disease, a blood amylase test may be conducted.

  • Abdominal or back pain that is severe
  • Fever
  • Appetite loss.
  • Nausea

A urine amylase test may be requested in conjunction with or after a blood amylase test. A health practitioner may conduct one or both of these tests on a regular basis to evaluate the success of treatment and see whether amylase levels are increasing or decreasing over time.

What does an Amylase blood test check for?

Amylase is one of numerous pancreatic enzymes that aid in carbohydrate digestion. This test detects the presence of amylase in the blood.

Amylase is produced from the pancreas into the duodenum, the first region of the small intestine, where it aids in the digestion of carbohydrates. Other organs, including the salivary glands, generate it as well.

Amylase is normally found in modest amounts in the blood and urine. Increased levels of amylase are released into the blood when pancreatic cells are harmed, as in pancreatitis, or when the pancreatic duct is obstructed by a gallstone or, in rare situations, a pancreatic tumor. This raises amylase levels in the blood.

Lab tests often ordered with an Amylase test:

  • Lipase
  • Trypsin
  • Trypsinogen

Conditions where an Amylase test is recommended:

  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Pancreatic Diseases
  • Pancreatitis

How does my health care provider use an Amylase test?

An amylase test is used to identify and track acute pancreatitis. It's frequently ordered in conjunction with a lipase test. It can also be used to detect and track chronic pancreatitis and other pancreas-related conditions.

A urine amylase test may be requested as well. Its level will usually correspond to blood amylase concentrations, but the rise and decrease will occur later. A urine creatinine clearance test may be ordered in conjunction with a urine amylase test to determine the ratio of amylase to creatinine filtered by the kidneys. Because poor kidney function might result in a decreased rate of amylase clearance, this ratio is used to assess renal function.

An amylase test on peritoneal fluid may be used to assist diagnose pancreatitis in some instances, such as when there is a buildup of fluid in the abdomen.

Amylase tests are often used to track the progress of pancreatic cancer treatment and after gallstone resection that has resulted in gallbladder attacks.

What do my Amylase test results mean?

A high level of amylase in the blood may suggest the presence of a pancreas problem.

Amylase levels in the blood often rise to 4 to 6 times higher than the highest reference value, also known as the upper limit of normal, in acute pancreatitis. The increase happens within 4 to 8 hours following a pancreas damage and usually lasts until the cause is effectively treated. In a few days, the amylase levels will return to normal.

Amylase levels in chronic pancreatitis are initially fairly increased, although they frequently decline over time as the pancreas deteriorates. Returning to normal levels may not signal that the source of damage has been rectified in this scenario. The size of the amylase rise does not indicate the severity of pancreatic illness.

Amylase levels may also be elevated in persons who have pancreatic duct obstruction or pancreatic cancer.

Urine amylase levels rise in lockstep with blood amylase levels and remain elevated for several days after blood levels have returned to normal.

A high amount of amylase in the peritoneal fluid can indicate acute pancreatitis, but it can also indicate other abdominal problems including a clogged intestine or poor blood supply to the intestines.

A low amylase level in the blood and urine of a person with pancreatitis symptoms could indicate that the amylase-producing cells in the pancreas have been permanently damaged. Reduced levels can also be caused by renal illness or pregnancy toxemia.

Increased blood amylase levels along with normal to low urine amylase levels could indicate the presence of a macroamylase, a harmless compound of amylase and other proteins that builds up in the bloodstream.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: Cancer antigen 125 is present one most of the ovarian cancer cells. This test is used to measure the amount of CA 125 in the blood. It can be used to monitor treatment, assess patients who have successfully treated cancer, or check if there may be ovarian cancer present.

Also Known As: CA 125 Tumor Marker, Cancer Antigen 125 Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a CA 125 test ordered?

The CA-125 test may be administered before a woman begins treatment for ovarian cancer to serve as a baseline against which future values can be compared. A healthcare practitioner may order CA-125 testing at intervals during therapy to check response to treatment. After therapy is finished, CA-125 can be evaluated on a regular basis.

When a woman develops a pelvic mass, a healthcare practitioner may conduct a CA-125 test to assist figure out what's causing it.

When a woman is at high risk of developing ovarian cancer, certain healthcare practitioners may prescribe a CA-125 test and an ultrasound at regular intervals.

What does a CA 125 blood test check for?

Cancer Antigen 125 is a protein found on the surface of most ovarian cancer cells, but not all. In certain instances, this makes the test useful as a tumor marker. The CA-125 test determines how much CA-125 is present in the blood.

CA-125 concentrations in the blood of an ovarian cancer patient may be significantly increased. As a result, the test could be used to track the success of treatment and/or check for cancer recurrence. However, because not all women with ovarian cancer have increased CA-125, the test may not be appropriate in all circumstances.

Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of death among women. According to the American Cancer Society, a woman's lifetime risk of acquiring ovarian cancer is roughly 1 in 75, with a 1 in 100 chance of dying from it. According to the American Cancer Society, around 22,000 new cases are identified each year in the United States, with approximately 14,000 women dying as a result.

Only around 20% of ovarian tumors are discovered in the early stages, before they have progressed beyond the ovary. The signs of ovarian cancer are extremely non-specific, which is one of the main reasons they go unnoticed.

Ongoing research is being driven by the need for a dependable tool for early identification of ovarian cancer in asymptomatic women. In the meanwhile, it's critical to get frequent physicals, pelvic exams, and be aware of your family's medical history and symptoms.

Because CA-125 is non-specific, it is not suggested as a screening test for asymptomatic women. CA-125 is produced in small amounts by normal tissues throughout the body, as well as by some malignancies. A range of non-cancerous diseases, such as menstruation, pregnancy, and pelvic inflammatory disease, can cause somewhat high levels in the blood.

Lab tests often ordered with a CA 125 test:

  • CEA
  • BRCA Gene Mutation

Conditions where a CA 125 test is recommended:

  • Ovarian Cancer

How does my health care provider use a CA 125 test?

Cancer Antigen 125 is a tumor marker that is primarily used to track therapy during ovarian cancer treatment. CA-125 is also used to see if cancer has returned after therapy has ended. CA-125 tests with rising or falling concentrations are generally more informative than a single result.

CA-125 is sometimes used in conjunction with transvaginal ultrasonography to screen and monitor women who are at high risk for ovarian cancer but have not yet been diagnosed with the disease. An inherited genetic mutation in one of two genes, breast cancer gene 1 or breast cancer gene 2, is the most significant risk factor for ovarian cancer. Family history, advancing age, reproductive history and infertility, hormone replacement treatment use, and obesity are all risk factors.

To explore a mass in a woman's lower abdomen area, a CA-125 test may be ordered in conjunction with a transvaginal ultrasound.

However, because the test is non-specific, it is not used to screen women for ovarian cancer. The US Preventive Services Task Force advises against ovarian cancer screening in women. This advice is for asymptomatic women only; it does not apply to women who are at a high risk of developing ovarian cancer, such as those who have a genetic mutation.

There is currently no single reliable approach for detecting ovarian cancer in asymptomatic women. Only around 20% of ovarian tumors are discovered in their early stages, before they have progressed beyond the ovary. The signs of ovarian cancer are extremely non-specific, which is one reason they go unnoticed. In the meanwhile, it's critical to get frequent physicals, pelvic checks, and be aware of family history and other risk factors.

What do my CA 125 test results mean?

If CA-125 levels drop throughout treatment, it usually means that the malignancy is responding to it. If CA-125 levels increase or remain unchanged, the cancer may not be responding to treatment. CA-125 values that are elevated after therapy may suggest that the cancer has returned.

If a woman has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and has a normal baseline CA-125 level, the test is unlikely to be beneficial in monitoring her illness. CA-125 is not a suitable predictor of disease development in this scenario because the ovarian cancer may not be making it.

A considerably raised CA-125 is concerning in a woman with a pelvic mass or in a woman who has a high risk of developing ovarian cancer, but it does not always imply ovarian cancer. This discovery would lead to more testing and evaluation.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: CA 19-9 is a cancer antigen test that is testing for a protein that exists on the surface of certain cancer cells. The CA 19-9 test can be used to measure the level of these proteins in the blood and is useful as a tumor marker.

Also Known As: Carbohydrate Antigen (CA) 19-9 Test, Cancer Antigen 19-9 Test, Cancer Antigen (CA) 19-9, Carbohydrate Antigen 19-9 Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a CA 19-9 test ordered?

When a person has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or has signs and symptoms that could indicate pancreatic cancer, CA 19-9 may be ordered. Early warning signs and symptoms can be vague and ambiguous.

If CA 19-9 levels are initially increased in pancreatic cancer, a series of CA 19-9 tests may be conducted to assess response during therapy and on a frequent basis after treatment to assist detect recurrence.

When a healthcare practitioner suspects bile duct cancer in a person with a bile duct obstruction, CA 19-9 may be prescribed. CA 19-9 levels can spike due to non-cancerous reasons of bile duct obstruction, but they drop once the blockage is addressed. In these circumstances, re-checking CA 19-9 levels should be done at least a week or two after the blockage has been cleared.

What does a CA 19-9 blood test check for?

The protein cancer antigen 19-9 is found on the surface of some cancer cells. CA 19-9 does not cause cancer; rather, it is emitted by tumor cells and can be discovered in blood and other bodily fluids by laboratory tests. The level of CA19-9 is measured in this test.

Because CA 19-9 can be tested in the blood, it can be used as a tumor marker to track the progression of cancer. CA 19-9 levels are high in 70% to 95% of persons with advanced pancreatic cancer.

CA 19-9 levels may also be elevated in cancers of the gallbladder and bile ducts, colorectal cancer, gastric cancers, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, pancreatitis, thyroid disease, and liver disease, among other cancers, conditions, and diseases. CA 19-9 is found in trace levels in the blood of healthy humans. CA 19-9 cannot be utilized for screening or diagnosis by itself because it is not specific for pancreatic cancer.

Lab tests often ordered with a CA 19-9 test:

  • Bilirubin
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Tumor Markers

Conditions where a CA 19-9 test is recommended:

  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Pancreatitis
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Gastric Cancers
  • Lung Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Liver Cancer
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Liver Disease

How does my health care provider use a CA 19-9 test?

The CA 19-9 test, along with other tests like carcinoembryonic antigen, bilirubin, and/or a liver panel, can be used to evaluate and monitor someone who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is having treatment.

CA 19-9 can only be utilized as a tumor marker if it is produced in large amounts by the malignancy. CA 19-9 may be ordered to help evaluate and monitor persons with bile duct cancer because it is high in roughly 65 percent of those with this type of cancer.

The CA 19-9 test is insufficiently sensitive and specific to be used as a cancer screening test. Because non-cancerous diseases can induce elevated CA 19-9 levels, it is not yet effective for detection or diagnosis. Researchers are still looking at markers that can be used alone or in combination with CA 19-9 to help diagnose and screen for pancreatic cancer in its early stages, when it is most curable.

What do my CA 19-9 test results mean?

Healthy persons have low levels of CA 19-9, although numerous illnesses that affect the liver or pancreas can induce transitory spikes.

People with pancreatic cancer, other malignancies, and a variety of other diseases and ailments may have moderate to high levels. CA 19-9 levels are higher in cancers of the exocrine pancreas. This cancer develops in the tissues that manufacture food-digesting enzymes, as well as in the ducts that transport those enzymes to the small intestine. This kind of pancreatic cancer accounts for approximately 95% of all pancreatic cancers.

CA 19-9 levels that rise and then diminish over time may indicate that the treatment is functioning and/or that the malignancy was successfully removed during surgery. Levels that stay high or rise over time could suggest that treatment isn't working and/or that the cancer is reoccurring.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Calcitonin concentration is increased in patients with medullary thyroid carcinoma. Calcitonin concentrations may be used to monitor disease.

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Description: CEA is a test that measures the levels of carcinoembryonic antigens in the blood. It is used to evaluate a person who has been diagnosed with cancer. The levels of CEA maybe elevated with certain types of cancer.

Also Known As: Carcinoembryonic antigen Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a CEA test ordered?

When a person is diagnosed with colon cancer or another type of cancer, a CEA test may be ordered. It will be evaluated before treatment begins and subsequently on a frequent basis to assess treatment success and detect recurrence.

When cancer is suspected but not yet diagnosed, a CEA test may be conducted. Although CEA can be increased with a variety of illnesses, this is not a popular usage for the test, it may provide additional information to a healthcare practitioner.

When a healthcare practitioner suspects that a cancer has metastasized, a CEA test may be conducted on a fluid other than blood.

What does a CEA blood test check for?

Carcinoembryonic antigen is a protein found in the developing tissues of a fetus. It drops to a very low level by the time a baby is delivered. CEA is generally seen in extremely low amounts in the blood of people, but it can be raised in cancer patients. This test examines the quantity of CEA in the blood to aid in the evaluation of cancer patients.

CEA is a tumor indicator. CEA was once assumed to be a particular marker for colon cancer, however subsequent research has revealed that an elevation in CEA can be detected in a variety of malignancies. Non-cancer disorders such as inflammation, cirrhosis, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, rectal polyps, emphysema, and benign breast disease, as well as smokers, can cause an increase in CEA. As a result, it is ineffective as a general cancer screening tool, although it does play a role in assessing cancer therapy response. An initial CEA baseline test may be performed after a person has been diagnosed with cancer. If this level is raised, serial CEA testing may be used to track the cancer's progress as the patient receives treatment.

Lab tests often ordered with a CEA test:

  • Tumor Markers
  • CSF Analysis
  • Body Fluid Analysis
  • CA 19-9
  • Calcitonin
  • Alpha Fetoprotein
  • Antiphospholipid Antibodies

Conditions where a CEA test is recommended:

  • Colon Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Lung Cancer

How does my health care provider use a CEA test?

The carcinoembryonic antigen test can be utilized in the following situations:

  • To keep track of the treatment of persons who have been diagnosed with colon cancer. It can also be used as a marker for rectum, lung, breast, liver, pancreatic, stomach, and ovary malignancies. Prior to therapy, a CEA test is usually ordered as a "baseline" measurement. If the level is high, the test can be used to track a patient's response to treatment and see if the cancer has advanced or returned.
  • Cancer staging entails determining the size of the tumor as well as the extent to which it has spread.
  • CEA testing in a bodily fluid sample can help doctors figure out if cancer has progressed to a body cavity like the chest or abdomen.
  • In the examination of cancer, a CEA test can be performed in conjunction with other tumor markers.

CEA is not produced by all malignancies, therefore a positive CEA test does not always indicate cancer.

What do my CEA test results mean?

Monitoring treatment and recurrence: CEA levels that are first raised but later return to normal following treatment indicate that the cancer has been successfully treated. The first symptom of tumor recurrence is frequently a progressively rising CEA level.

Staging: People with smaller and early-stage tumors are more likely to have a normal or slightly raised CEA score on initial testing. A high CEA value is more probable in people with larger tumors, later-stage cancer, or cancers that have disseminated throughout the body.

Testing for metastasis: If CEA is found in a bodily fluid other than blood, the cancer has most likely migrated to that part of the body. If CEA is found in CSF fluid, for example, it could suggest that cancer has spread to the central nervous system.

Because not all malignancies produce CEA, it's possible to have cancer and a normal CEA at the same time. The test will be useless as a surveillance tool if a malignancy does not produce CEA.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A CBC or Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets test is a blood test that measures many important features of your blood’s red and white blood cells and platelets. A Complete Blood Count can be used to evaluate your overall health and detect a wide variety of conditions such as infection, anemia, and leukemia. It also looks at other important aspects of your blood health such as hemoglobin, which carries oxygen. 

Also Known As: CBC test, Complete Blood Count Test, Total Blood Count Test, CBC with Differential and Platelets test, Hemogram test  

Collection Method: Blood Draw 

Specimen Type: Whole Blood 

Test Preparation: No preparation required 

When is a Complete Blood Count test ordered?  

The complete blood count (CBC) is an extremely common test. When people go to the doctor for a standard checkup or blood work, they often get a CBC. Suppose a person is healthy and their results are within normal ranges. In that case, they may not need another CBC unless their health condition changes, or their healthcare professional believes it is necessary. 

When a person exhibits a variety of signs and symptoms that could be connected to blood cell abnormalities, a CBC may be done. A health practitioner may request a CBC to help diagnose and determine the severity of lethargy or weakness, as well as infection, inflammation, bruises, or bleeding. 

When a person is diagnosed with a disease that affects blood cells, a CBC is frequently done regularly to keep track of their progress. Similarly, if someone is being treated for a blood condition, a CBC may be performed on a regular basis to see if the treatment is working. 

Chemotherapy, for example, can influence the generation of cells in the bone marrow. Some drugs can lower WBC counts in the long run. To monitor various medication regimens, a CBC may be required on a regular basis. 

What does a Complete Blood Count test check for? 

The complete blood count (CBC) is a blood test that determines the number of cells in circulation. White blood cells (WBCs), red blood cells (RBCs), and platelets (PLTs) are three types of cells suspended in a fluid called plasma. They are largely created and matured in the bone marrow and are released into the bloodstream when needed under normal circumstances. 

A CBC is mainly performed with an automated machine that measures a variety of factors, including the number of cells present in a person's blood sample. The findings of a CBC can reveal not only the quantity of different cell types but also the physical properties of some of the cells. 

Significant differences in one or more blood cell populations may suggest the presence of one or more diseases. Other tests are frequently performed to assist in determining the reason for aberrant results. This frequently necessitates visual confirmation via a microscope examination of a blood smear. A skilled laboratory technician can assess the appearance and physical features of blood cells, such as size, shape, and color, and note any anomalies. Any extra information is taken note of and communicated to the healthcare provider. This information provides the health care provider with further information about the cause of abnormal CBC results. 

The CBC focuses on three different types of cells: 

WBCs (White Blood Cells) 

The body uses five different types of WBCs, also known as leukocytes, to keep itself healthy and battle infections and other types of harm. The five different leukocytes are eosinophiles, lymphocytes, neutrophiles, basophils, and monocytes. They are found in relatively steady numbers in the blood. Depending on what is going on in the body, these values may momentarily rise or fall. An infection, for example, can cause the body to manufacture more neutrophils in order to combat bacterial infection. The amount of eosinophils in the body may increase as a result of allergies. A viral infection may cause an increase in lymphocyte production. Abnormal (immature or mature) white cells multiply fast in certain illness situations, such as leukemia, raising the WBC count. 

RBCs (Red Blood Cells) 

The bone marrow produces red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, which are transferred into the bloodstream after maturing. Hemoglobin, a protein that distributes oxygen throughout the body, is found in these cells. Because RBCs have a 120-day lifespan, the bone marrow must constantly manufacture new RBCs to replace those that have aged and disintegrated or have been lost due to hemorrhage. A variety of diseases, including those that cause severe bleeding, can alter the creation of new RBCs and their longevity. 

The CBC measures the number of RBCs and hemoglobin in the blood, as well as the proportion of RBCs in the blood (hematocrit), and if the RBC population appears to be normal. RBCs are generally homogeneous in size and shape, with only minor differences; however, considerable variances can arise in illnesses including vitamin B12 and folate inadequacy, iron deficiency, and a range of other ailments. Anemia occurs when the concentration of red blood cells and/or the amount of hemoglobin in the blood falls below normal, resulting in symptoms such as weariness and weakness. In a far smaller percentage of cases, there may be an excess of RBCs in the blood (erythrocytosis or polycythemia). This might obstruct the flow of blood through the tiny veins and arteries in extreme circumstances. 

Platelets 

Platelets, also known as thrombocytes, are small cell fragments that aid in the regular clotting of blood. A person with insufficient platelets is more likely to experience excessive bleeding and bruises. Excess platelets can induce excessive clotting or excessive bleeding if the platelets are not operating properly. The platelet count and size are determined by the CBC. 

Lab tests often ordered with a Complete Blood Count test: 

  • Reticulocytes
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
  • Basic Metabolic Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Lipid Panel
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate
  • Prothrombin with INR and Partial Thromboplastin Times
  • Sed Rate (ESR)
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Von Willebrand Factor Antigen

Conditions where a Complete Blood Count test is recommended: 

  • Anemia
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Iron Deficiency Anemia
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiency
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Heart Disease
  • Thalassemia
  • Leukemia
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Cancer
  • Bleeding Disorders
  • Inflammation
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Mononucleosis

Commonly Asked Questions: 

How does my health care provider use a Complete Blood Count test? 

The complete blood count (CBC) is a common, comprehensive screening test used to measure a person's overall health status.  

What do my Complete Blood Count results mean? 

A low Red Blood Cell Count, also known as anemia, could be due many different causes such as chronic bleeding, a bone marrow disorder, and nutritional deficiency just to name a few. A high Red Blood Cell Count, also known as polycythemia, could be due to several conditions including lung disease, dehydration, and smoking. Both Hemoglobin and Hematocrit tend to reflect Red Blood Cell Count results, so if your Red Blood Cell Count is low, your Hematocrit and Hemoglobin will likely also be low. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

What do my Differential results mean? 

A low White Blood Cell count or low WBC count, also known as leukopenia, could be due to a number of different disorders including autoimmune issues, severe infection, and lymphoma. A high White Blood Cell count, or high WBC count, also known as leukocytosis, can also be due to many different disorders including infection, leukemia, and inflammation. Abnormal levels in your White Blood Cell Count will be reflected in one or more of your different white blood cells. Knowing which white blood cell types are affected will help your healthcare provider narrow down the issue. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

What do my Platelet results mean? 

A low Platelet Count, also known as thrombocytopenia, could be due to a number of different disorders including autoimmune issues, viral infection, and leukemia. A high Platelet Count, also known as Thrombocytosis, can also be due to many different disorders including cancer, iron deficiency, and rheumatoid arthritis. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

NOTE: Only measurable biomarkers will be reported. Certain biomarkers do not appear in healthy individuals. 

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

Reflex Parameters for Manual Slide Review
  Less than  Greater Than 
WBC  1.5 x 10^3  30.0 x 10^3 
Hemoglobin  7.0 g/dL  19.0 g/dL 
Hematocrit  None  75%
Platelet  100 x 10^3  800 x 10^3 
MCV  70 fL  115 fL 
MCH  22 pg  37 pg 
MCHC  29 g/dL  36.5 g/dL 
RBC  None  8.00 x 10^6 
RDW  None  21.5
Relative Neutrophil %  1% or ABNC <500  None 
Relative Lymphocyte %  1% 70%
Relative Monocyte %  None  25%
Eosinophil  None  35%
Basophil  None  3.50%
     
Platelet  <75 with no flags,
>100 and <130 with platelet clump flag present,
>1000 
Instrument Flags Variant lymphs, blasts,
immature neutrophils,  nRBC’s, abnormal platelets,
giant platelets, potential interference
     
The automated differential averages 6000+ cells. If none of the above parameters are met, the results are released without manual review.
CBC Reflex Pathway

Step 1 - The slide review is performed by qualified Laboratory staff and includes:

  • Confirmation of differential percentages
  • WBC and platelet estimates, when needed
  • Full review of RBC morphology
  • Comments for toxic changes, RBC inclusions, abnormal lymphs, and other
  • significant findings
  • If the differential percentages agree with the automated counts and no abnormal cells are seen, the automated differential is reported with appropriate comments

Step 2 - The slide review is performed by qualified Laboratory staff and includes: If any of the following are seen on the slide review, Laboratory staff will perform a manual differential:

  • Immature, abnormal, or toxic cells
  • nRBC’s
  • Disagreement with automated differential
  • Atypical/abnormal RBC morphology
  • Any RBC inclusions

Step 3 If any of the following are seen on the manual differential, a Pathologist will review the slide:

  • WBC<1,500 with abnormal cells noted
  • Blasts/immature cells, hairy cell lymphs, or megakaryocytes
  • New abnormal lymphocytes or monocytes
  • Variant or atypical lymphs >15%
  • Blood parasites
  • RBC morphology with 3+ spherocytes, RBC inclusions, suspect Hgb-C,
  • crystals, Pappenheimer bodies or bizarre morphology
  • nRBC’s

Description: A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel or CMP is a blood test that is a combination of a Basic Metabolic Panel, a Liver Panel, and electrolyte panel, and is used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor a variety of conditions and diseases such as liver disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. 

Also Known As: CMP, Chem, Chem-14, Chem-12, Chem-21, Chemistry Panel, Chem Panel, Chem Screen, Chemistry Screen, SMA 12, SMA 20, SMA 21, SMAC, Chem test

Collection Method: 

Blood Draw 

Specimen Type: 

Serum 

Test Preparation: 

9-12 hours fasting is preferred. 

When is a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test ordered:  

A CMP is frequently requested as part of a lab test for a medical evaluation or yearly physical. A CMP test consists of many different tests that give healthcare providers a range of information about your health, including liver and kidney function, electrolyte balance, and blood sugar levels. To confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis, abnormal test results are frequently followed up with other tests that provide a more in depth or targeted analysis of key areas that need investigating. 

What does a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel blood test check for? 

The complete metabolic panel (CMP) is a set of 20 tests that provides critical information to a healthcare professional about a person's current metabolic status, check for liver or kidney disease, electrolyte and acid/base balance, and blood glucose and blood protein levels. Abnormal results, particularly when they are combined, can suggest a problem that needs to be addressed. 

The following tests are included in the CMP: 

  • Albumin: this is a measure of Albumin levels in your blood. Albumin is a protein made by the liver that is responsible for many vital roles including transporting nutrients throughout the body and preventing fluid from leaking out of blood vessels. 

  • Albumin/Globulin Ratio: this is a ratio between your total Albumin and Globulin  

  • Alkaline Phosphatase: this is a measure of Alkaline phosphatase or ALP in your blood. Alkaline phosphatase is a protein found in all body tissues, however the ALP found in blood comes from the liver and bones. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage, gallbladder disease, or bone disorder. 

  • Alt: this is a measure of Alanine transaminase or ALT in your blood. Alanine Aminotransferase is an enzyme found in the highest amounts in the liver with small amounts in the heart and muscles. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage. 

  • AST: this is a measure of Aspartate Aminotransferase or AST. Aspartate Aminotransferase is an enzyme found mostly in the heart and liver, with smaller amounts in the kidney and muscles. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage. 

  • Bilirubin, Total: this is a measure of bilirubin in your blood. Bilirubin is an orange-yellowish waste product produced from the breakdown of heme which is a component of hemoglobin found in red blood cells. The liver is responsible for removal of bilirubin from the body. 

  • Bun/Creatinine Ratio: this is a ratio between your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and Creatinine result.  

  • Calcium: this is a measurement of calcium in your blood. Calcium is the most abundant and one of the most important minerals in the body as it essential for proper nerve, muscle, and heart function. 

  • Calcium: is used for blood clot formation and the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth. 

  • Carbon Dioxide: this is a measure of carbon dioxide in your blood. Carbon dioxide is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as chloride, potassium, and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels.  

  • Chloride: this is a measure of Chloride in your blood. Chloride is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as potassium and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels. 

  • Creatinine: this is a measure of Creatinine levels in your blood. Creatinine is created from the breakdown of creatine in your muscles and is removed from your body by the kidneys. Elevated creatinine levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

  • Egfr African American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Egfr Non-Afr. American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Globulin: this is a measure of all blood proteins in your blood that are not albumin. 

  • Glucose: this is a measure of glucose in your blood. Glucose is created from the breakdown of carbohydrates during digestion and is the body’s primary source of energy. 

  • Potassium: this is a measure of Potassium in your blood. Potassium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in cell metabolism, nerve and muscle function, and transport of nutrients into cells and removal of wastes products out of cells. 

  • Protein, Total: this is a measure of total protein levels in your blood. 
    Sodium: this is a measure of Sodium in your blood. Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in nerve and muscle function. 

  • Sodium: this is a measure of sodium in your blood's serum. Sodium is a vital mineral for nerve and muscle cell function.

  • Urea Nitrogen (Bun): this is a measure of Urea Nitrogen in your blood, also known as Blood UreaNitrogen (BUN). Urea is a waste product created in the liver when proteins are broken down into amino acids. Elevated levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

Lab tests often ordered with a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test: 

  • Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
  • Lipid Panel
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate
  • Prothrombin with INR and Partial Thromboplastin Times
  • Sed Rate (ESR)
  • C-Reactive Protein

Conditions where a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test is recommended: 

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Hypertension

Commonly Asked Questions: 

How does my health care provider use a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test? 

The comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is a broad screening tool for assessing organ function and detecting diseases like diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease. The CMP test may also be requested to monitor known disorders such as hypertension and to check for any renal or liver-related side effects in persons taking specific drugs. If a health practitioner wants to follow two or more separate CMP components, the full CMP might be ordered because it contains more information. 

What do my Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test results mean? 

The results of the tests included in the CMP are usually analyzed together to look for patterns. A single abnormal test result may indicate something different than a series of abnormal test findings. A high result on one of the liver enzyme tests, for example, is not the same as a high result on several liver enzyme tests. 

Several sets of CMPs, frequently performed on various days, may be examined to gain insights into the underlying disease and response to treatment, especially in hospitalized patients. 

Out-of-range findings for any of the CMP tests can be caused by a variety of illnesses, including kidney failure, breathing issues, and diabetes-related complications, to name a few. If any of the results are abnormal, one or more follow-up tests are usually ordered to help determine the reason and/or establish a diagnosis. 

Is there anything else I should know? 

A wide range of prescription and over-the-counter medications can have an impact on the results of the CMP's components. Any medications you're taking should be disclosed to your healthcare professional. Similarly, it is critical to provide a thorough history because many other circumstances can influence how your results are interpreted. 

What's the difference between the CMP and the BMP tests, and why would my doctor choose one over the other? 

The CMP consists of 14 tests, while the basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a subset of those with eight tests. The liver (ALP, ALT, AST, and bilirubin) and protein (albumin and total protein) tests are not included. If a healthcare provider wants a more thorough picture of a person's organ function or to check for specific illnesses like diabetes or liver or kidney disease, he or she may prescribe a CMP rather than a BMP. 

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

Please note the following regarding BUN/Creatinine ratio: 

The lab does not report the calculation for the BUN/Creatinine Ratio unless one or both biomarkers’ results fall out of the published range. 

If you still wish to see the value, it's easy to calculate. Simply take your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and divide it by your Creatinine result.  

As an example, if your Urea Nitrogen result is 11 and your Creatinine result is 0.86, then you would divide 11 by 0.86 and get a BUN/Creatinine Ratio result of 12.79. 


Description: A Urine Culture test is a test that is used to identify bacteria or foreign organisms in urine and test for antibiotic susceptibilities.

Also Known As: Urine Culture Test, Urine Culture and Sensitivity, Urine C and S, UTI test

Collection Method: Urine Collection

Specimen Type: Urine

Test Preparation: No preparation required

IMPORTANT - Culture, Urine, Routine #395 can Reflex to additional testing and charges, detailed below, if Culture is positive.

If culture is positive, CPT code(s): 87088 (each isolate) will be added with an additional charge.  Identification will be performed at an additional charge (CPT code(s): 87077 or 87140 or 87143 or 87147 or 87149).

Antibiotic susceptibilities are only performed when appropriate (CPT code(s): 87181 or 87184 or 87185 or 87186).

  • ORG ID 1. $ 12.45 
  • ORG ID 2. $ 23.95 
  • PRESUMPTIVE ID 1. $ 12.45 
  • PRESUMPTIVE ID 2. $ 23.95 
  • SUSC-1  $14.95 
  • SUSC-2  $28.95

When is a Urine Culture test ordered?

A urine culture may be requested if a person exhibits symptoms that suggest a urinary tract infection, such as:

  • Urination urges that are strong and persistent
  • Urination with a burning sensation
  • Urine that is murky and has a strong odor
  • Back pain in the lower back

Urinary tract infections can cause pressure in the lower abdomen as well as small quantities of blood in the urine. If the UTI is severe and/or has gone to the kidneys, it can cause symptoms such as flank pain, high fever, trembling, chills, nausea, and vomiting.

For young women with signs or symptoms of a UTI and an uncomplicated lower urinary tract infection, antibiotics may be administered without obtaining a urine culture. A urine culture is advised if there is a suspicion of a complex infection or if symptoms do not respond to first treatment.

Pregnant women without symptoms should be examined for bacteria in their urine during their first trimester or first prenatal appointment, as bacteria in the urine can harm the growing baby's health.

A urine culture may be administered in conjunction with a urinalysis or as a follow-up to abnormal urinalysis results.

What does a Urine Culture test check for?

Urine is a fluid generated by the kidneys that contains both water and waste. It passes from the kidneys to the bladder through tubes called ureters before being expelled from the body through the urethra. Urine culture is a test that detects and identifies bacteria and yeast in the urine that could be the source of a urinary tract infection.

A small amount of urine is placed on one or more agar plates and incubated at body temperature for a urine culture. Any bacteria or yeast present in the urine sample will grow into little circular colonies during the next 24 to 48 hours. The number of colonies and the size, shape, and color of these colonies assist identify which bacteria are present in the urine sample, and the number of colonies shows the amount of bacteria that were initially present in the urine sample. A laboratory technician counts the total number of colonies on the agar plate and determines how many types have grown. If a good, clean catch sample was taken for the test, the only bacteria found should be from an infection. Typically, there will be only one variety of bacterium present in relatively significant quantities. More than one type of bacteria may be present at any given time. This could be the result of a multi-pathogen infection, although it's more likely owing to contamination from the skin picked up during the urine collection.

A gram stain will be performed on a colony from each type by the laboratory technician. The bacteria are examined under a microscope by the laboratory technician. Different species of bacteria will have distinct colors and forms. Under a microscope, the bacterium Escherichia coli, which is responsible for the majority of urinary tract infections, will appear as gram-negative rods. Lactobacillus, a frequent vaginal contaminant found in women's urine, will show up as gram-positive rods. Some bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, are easy to detect by a skilled lab technician, are nonpathogenic, and do not require additional research. Others, such as gram-negative rods, represent clusters of identical bacteria that will necessitate extra testing to determine which bacteria are present.

After 24 to 48 hours of incubation, if there is no or little growth on the agar, the urine culture is declared negative for pathogens and the culture is complete. If one or more pathogens are found, more testing is done. Testing is performed to determine which bacteria are present, as well as susceptibility testing to determine which antibiotics are most likely to cure the infection.

Lab tests often ordered with a Urine Culture test:

  • Urinalysis, Complete
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • ANA
  • Rheumatoid Factor
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)

Conditions where a Urine Culture test is recommended:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Pregnancy
  • Hematuria
  • Proteinuria
  • Kidney Stones
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

How does my health care provider use a Urine Culture test?

The urine culture is often used to diagnose a urinary tract infection and to identify the bacteria or yeast that is causing it. It can be used in conjunction with susceptibility testing to discover which drugs will stop the infection-causing bacterium from growing. The findings will aid a doctor in determining which treatments are most likely to be beneficial in treating a patient's infection.

The kidneys, a pair of bean-shaped organs positioned near the bottom of the ribcage on the right and left sides of the back, produce urine. To transport wastes out of the body, the kidneys filter waste from the blood and generate urine, a yellow fluid. Urine goes from the kidneys to the bladder, where it is briefly stored, and then via the urethra to be emptied. Urine is normally sterile, but bacteria or, more rarely, yeast can migrate up the urinary tract from the skin outside the urethra and produce a urinary tract infection.

The majority of UTIs are considered simple and treatable. The infection may spread up through the ureters and into the kidneys if they are not treated. A kidney infection is more hazardous and can result in renal damage that is irreversible. In some situations, a urinary tract infection can escalate to a life-threatening infection in the bloodstream.

People with renal disease or other illnesses that impact the kidneys, such as diabetes or kidney stones, as well as people with compromised immune systems, may be more susceptible to UTIs.

What do my Urine Culture test results mean?

Urine culture results are frequently interpreted in conjunction with urinalysis results, as well as how the sample was taken and whether symptoms are present. Because certain urine samples may contain bacteria that are ordinarily found on the skin, some culture results must be interpreted with caution.

A positive urine culture is usually defined as the presence of a single kind of bacteria growing at high colony counts. Cultures containing more than 100,000 CFU/mL of one species of bacteria in clean catch samples that have been correctly collected usually indicate infection. Even if an infection is present, there may not be a large number of germs present in some circumstances. Lower levels can sometimes suggest infection, particularly if symptoms are present. Similarly, values of 1,000 to 100,000 CFU/mL may be deemed significant for samples acquired using a technique that reduces contamination, such as a sample collected with a catheter.

Although UTIs can be caused by a variety of bacteria, the majority are caused by Escherichia coli, a kind of bacteria that is widespread in the digestive tract and frequently detected in stool. Proteus, Klebsiella, Enterococcus, and Staphylococcus are among the bacteria that can cause UTIs. A yeast infection, such as Candida albicans, can cause a UTI, but urethritis is more commonly caused by a sexually transmitted illness, such as herpes, chlamydia, or gonorrhea.

When a culture says "no growth in 24 or 48 hours," it usually means there isn't an infection. If the symptoms persist, a urine culture on a new sample may be performed to test for bacteria with reduced colony numbers or other microorganisms that could be causing the symptoms. Acute urethral syndrome is defined as the presence of white blood cells and low quantities of bacteria in a sick person's urine.

If multiple different species of bacteria thrive in a culture, the growth is almost certainly due to contamination. This is notably true in urine samples containing Lactobacillus and/or other prevalent nonpathogenic vaginal bacteria in women. If the symptoms persist, the healthcare provider may order a second culture on a more thoroughly collected sample. However, if one species of bacteria has considerably larger colony counts than the others, such as 100,000 CFUs/mL versus 1,000 CFUs/mL, further testing to determine the dominating bacterium may be required.

Susceptibility testing may be used to guide treatment if a culture is positive. Any bacterial infection can be dangerous and, if left untreated, can spread to other parts of the body. Pain is frequently the first sign of infection. Treatment as soon as possible, generally with antibiotics, will help to relieve the pain.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


The DCP assay is intended for in vitro diagnostic use as an aid in the risk assessment of patients with chronic liver disease for progression to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in conjunction with other laboratory findings and clinical assessment.

Description: Fecal Globulin by immunochemistry is a test that measures the amount of blood present in fecal samples. The results from the fecal globulin test can be used to detect a lower gastrointestinal disorder. It is recommended to be a part of the routine physical examination.

Also Known As: Fecal Immunochemical Test, Fecal Occult Blood Test, Stool Occult Blood Test, FIT, FOBT

Collection Method: Fecal specimen collected from toilet water and brushed onto InSure® FOBT test card

Specimen Type: Fecal Specimen

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Fecal Globin test ordered?

When a person chooses fecal occult blood testing as a method of colon cancer screening, the American Cancer Society and other major healthcare organizations recommend yearly testing. The American Cancer Society and others recommend that colon cancer screening begin around age 50 for the general population, but it may begin earlier if a person has a family history of colon cancer.

An FOBT may be ordered by a doctor if a patient has unexplained anemia that could be caused by gastrointestinal bleeding.

What does a Fecal Globin test check for?

The majority of colon cancer cases begin with the formation of benign intestinal polyps. Benign polyps are quite common in adults over 50, and while the majority do not cause health problems, some can turn malignant and spread to other parts of the body. These finger-like growths protrude into the rectum or the intestinal cavity. They can be delicate and bleed on occasion, as when food debris rubs against them.

The blood expelled is normally not visible in the stool, but a fecal occult blood test or a fecal immunochemical test can detect it. The FOBT and FIT are effective colorectal cancer screening techniques because this small amount of blood may be the earliest and sometimes only evidence of early colon cancer. A guaiac-based test, an over-the-counter flushable reagent pad, and an immunochemical technique are all options for testing.

It is advised that at least three stool samples be taken on different days be tested. According to the American Cancer Society, a single test performed during a digital rectal exam at a doctor's office is not recommended since it may not be sensitive enough to detect cancer. Because collecting feces on three different days increases the chances of identifying cancer, the home FOBT or FIT is advised. Additionally, those who choose this type of colon cancer screening should be screened every year.

Lab tests often ordered with a Fecal Globin test:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Calprotectin

Conditions where a Fecal Globin test is recommended:

  • Colon Cancer

How does my health care provider use a Fecal Globin test?

The fecal occult blood test, also known as the fecal immunochemical test, is primarily used to screen for early colon cancer. The majority of colon cancer cases begin with the formation of benign intestinal polyps. People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop benign polyps. The majority are non-cancerous, however some can develop malignant.

Blood in the stool could be the only sign of early cancer, so if caught early, therapy can begin right away, increasing the chances of a cure.

What do my Fecal Occult Blood test results mean?

Normally, the fecal occult blood test is negative.

A positive test result for the guaiac-based FOBT shows that abnormal bleeding is occurring anywhere in the digestive tract. Ulcers, diverticulosis, polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, hemorrhoids, blood eaten owing to bleeding gums or nosebleeds, or benign or malignant tumors could all cause blood loss.

A positive result for the fecal immunochemical test shows abnormal bleeding in the lower digestive tract. Other sources of blood, such as those found in the diet, do not generate a positive result since this test only identifies human hemoglobin. Furthermore, hemoglobin from upper digestive tract hemorrhage is broken down before reaching the lower digestive tract and is undetectable by the FIT. As a result, the FIT is a more precise test than the gFOBT.

Follow-up testing is required after a positive result from either the guaiac-based FOBT or the immunochemical FIT. Direct imaging of the colon and rectum is generally used.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: The gastrin test is used to measure gastrin, a hormone that controls stomach acid. The test measures gastrin levels in your blood’s serum.

Also Known As: Gastrinomas Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Overnight fasting (12 hours) required

When is a Gastrin test ordered?

When a patient experiences diarrhea, abdominal pain, and/or recurring peptic ulcers that do not improve after treatment and that the doctor feels are brought on by excessive gastrin production, a gastrin test may be recommended. When a patient's gastrin level is moderately increased and a doctor feels they may have a gastrinoma, they may be given a gastrin stimulation test.

A periodic gastrin test may be requested as a screening test to check for recurrence after a gastrin-producing tumor has been excised.

What does a Gastrin test check for?

The "G-cells" in the antrum, a region of the stomach, create the hormone called "gastrin." During the digestion process, it controls the amount of acid produced in the stomach. To assess a person with recurrent peptic ulcers and/or other severe gastrointestinal symptoms, this test analyzes the level of gastrin in the blood.

The antrum of the stomach swells as food is consumed, and the meal itself causes gastrin to be released. The production of stomach acid is then stimulated by the hormone gastrin. Acidity aids in food digestion, and when it increases, it eventually inhibits the release of gastrin. Low levels of gastrin are often produced by this feedback system, especially while a person is fasting. An excess of gastrin and stomach acid can be brought on by uncommon disorders such G-cell hyperplasia and gastrinomas, including Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Aggressive peptic ulcers that are challenging to treat may result from this.

Gastrinomas are tumors that make gastrin. One or more gastrinomas can result in ZE syndrome, which is characterized by excessive gastrin levels, significantly increased stomach acid production, and peptic ulcers. Despite the fact that the pancreas' endocrine cells don't typically produce gastrin, gastrinomas frequently develop there. More than half of them are cancerous, leading to cancer that can spread to different organs including the liver. Large amounts of gastrin can be produced by even the smallest tumors.

Lab tests often ordered with a Gastrin test:

  • Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori)
  • Gastric Acid

Conditions where a Gastrin test is recommended:

  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Gastrinomas

How does my health care provider use a Gastrin test?

The main purpose of the gastrin test is to identify cases of excessive gastrin and stomach acid production. It is used to assist in the diagnosis of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, hyperplasia of G-cells, and gastrinomas, which are gastrin-producing tumors. The stomach's G-cells are specialized cells that create gastrin, which boosts the production of gastric acid.

After a gastrinoma has been surgically removed, a gastrin test may be used to check for recurrence.

Therefore, if the initial gastrin test result is moderately but not significantly high and the healthcare professional feels that a person's symptoms are brought on by a gastrinoma, a gastrin stimulation test may be conducted to provide additional information. This process entails taking a baseline sample of gastrin, administering a drug to the patient to increase gastrin synthesis, and then taking more blood samples at certain intervals for gastrin testing. After secretin administration, the other sources of high gastrin won't exhibit a rise.

To aid in the diagnosis of ZE syndrome, a measurement of the pH level of gastric acid may occasionally be requested before, during, or after a gastrin test.

What do my Gastrin test results mean?

It is uncommon to be concerned about low or normal blood levels of gastrin.

A number of diseases and illnesses, including ZE syndrome, pernicious anemia, G-cell hyperplasia, chronic atrophic gastritis, chronic kidney failure, and pyloric blockage, can cause somewhat elevated levels.

A person is likely to have ZE syndrome and one or more gastrinomas if their gastrin levels are significantly elevated in symptomatic persons and increase significantly after a gastrin stimulation test. In order to find the gastrinomas, imaging tests may be prescribed as a follow-up to elevated gastrin concentrations. Both the size and the number of tumors have no effect on how much gastrin is produced. Large volumes of gastrin can be produced by even small tumors.

Following surgical resection of a gastrinoma, low-grade gastrin levels that later rise could indicate a return of the tumor. Concentrations that remain elevated following treatment may be a sign that it wasn't entirely successful.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: The hCG test is a blood test that measures the amount of hCG in the blood. It is used to confirm pregnancy or to help identify an ectopic pregnancy. It can also be used to confirm that there is not a pregnancy before a medical treatment.

Also Known As: Beta hCG Test, Chorionic Gonadotropin Test, hCG Total Quantitative Test, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (Hcg), Quantitative Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Total, Quantitative, Pregnancy Test, hCG Blood Test

Collection Method: Blood draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an hCG Total Quantitative test ordered?

The timing of pregnancy testing is determined by a woman's accuracy in predicting the day of her menstrual period, as well as the technique of testing employed. Blood tests are more sensitive than urine tests and can be performed two days before a woman's period is expected to begin. By 10 days after a missed menstrual cycle, a urine or blood hCG test can be done with confidence. A woman may be able to ascertain whether she is pregnant the day she misses her period with a urine test, but the result may be mistakenly negative. If the first test is negative but pregnancy is suspected, the test may be repeated at a later date.

When a doctor wants to diagnose or rule out an ectopic pregnancy or monitor a woman after a loss, he or she may perform quantitative blood hCG testing over several days. A woman may first have the standard signs and symptoms of pregnancy, but subsequently develop others that signal the pregnancy is not proceeding as planned.

The following are some of the indications and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Lower abdominal pain or cramps on one side of the pelvis

If left untreated, the following signs and symptoms may worsen:

  • Weakness, dizziness
  • Fainting or feeling faint
  • Blood pressure that is too low
  • Suffering from shoulder pain
  • In the pelvic area, there is a sudden, severe ache.
  • Flu-like symptoms and a fever
  • Vomiting

If left untreated, the region around an ectopic pregnancy might burst and hemorrhage, resulting in cardiac arrest and death.

Prior to a medical operation or therapy that could be detrimental during pregnancy, an hCG test may be recommended.

What does an hCG Total Quantitative blood test check for?

Human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone produced by a pregnant woman's placenta. The level of hCG in the blood rises early in pregnancy and is excreted in the urine. A pregnancy test detects human chorionic gonadotropin in the blood or urine and confirms or disproves pregnancy.

During the first few weeks of pregnancy, hCG is crucial for sustaining the corpus luteum's function. During the first trimester of a typical pregnancy, hCG production rises steadily, culminating around the 10th week after the last menstrual cycle. During the duration of the pregnancy, levels gradually decrease. Within a few weeks of birth, hCG is no longer detectable.

The level of hCG in the blood increases at a slower rate when a pregnancy develops outside of the uterus. When an ectopic pregnancy is suspected, monitoring the level of hCG in the blood over time may be helpful in confirming the diagnosis.

Similarly, when a developing baby has a chromosomal problem such as Down syndrome, the hCG blood level may be abnormal. As part of the usual screening for fetal anomalies, an hCG test is utilized in conjunction with a few additional assays.

Lab tests often ordered with an hCG Total Quantitative test:

  • Progesterone
  • First Trimester Screening
  • Second Trimester Screening

Conditions where an hCG Total Quantitative test is recommended:

  • Pregnancy
  • Cancer

How does my health care provider use an hCG Total Quantitative test?

The presence of hCG is detected by qualitative hCG testing, which is commonly used to screen for pregnancy. A test strip is dipped into a collected cup of urine or exposed to a woman's urine stream, depending on the method. Within the time provided by the instructions, generally approximately 5 minutes, a colored line appears. It is critical to properly follow the test recommendations in order to obtain reliable test results. If the test comes out negative, it's usually repeated a few days later. Because hCG levels grow quickly, a previously negative test can become positive in a short period of time.

Quantitative hCG testing, also known as beta hCG testing, determines the amount of hCG in the blood. It's possible that it'll be utilized to confirm a pregnancy. It can also be used in conjunction with a progesterone test to help diagnosis an ectopic pregnancy, diagnose and monitor a failing pregnancy, and/or monitor a woman following a miscarriage.

hCG blood levels, along with a few other tests, can also be used to screen for fetal abnormalities. See First Trimester Down Syndrome Screen or Second Trimester Maternal Serum Screening for further information on this application.

If a woman is about to undergo medical treatment, be put on certain drugs, or have other testing, such as x-rays, that could harm the developing baby, an hCG test may be done to check for pregnancy. This is normally done to make sure the woman isn't expecting. Before any medical intervention, such as an operation, that could potentially harm a fetus, most institutions now screen all female patients for pregnancy using a urine or blood hCG test.

What do my hCG test results mean?

A negative hCG result indicates that a woman is unlikely to be pregnant. However, tests conducted too early in a pregnancy, before a sufficient hCG level has been reached, may result in false-negative results. If there is a strong likelihood of pregnancy, the test may be repeated a few days later.

A positive hCG test indicates that a lady is pregnant.

The level of hcG in a woman's blood rises at a slower rate than normal in an ectopic pregnancy. For the first four weeks of a typical pregnancy, hCG levels double about every two days, then slow to every 3 1/2 and half days by six weeks. Those who had failed pregnancies often have a lengthier doubling time early on, and their hCG concentrations may even fall during the doubling stage. Following a miscarriage, hCG levels will drop rapidly. If hCG levels do not drop to undetectable levels, it could mean that there is still hCG-producing tissue that needs to be removed.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A Lactate Dehydrogenase or LD test is a blood test that measure the level of the enzyme Lactate Dehydrogenase in your blood’s serum and can be used to detect a wide variety of disorders including liver disease, kidney disease, infections, and pancreatitis.

Also Known As: LD Test, LDH Test, Lactic Acid Dehydrogenase Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Lactate Dehydrogenase test ordered?

When a health practitioner feels that a disease or condition is causing cellular or tissue damage, an LD level, coupled with other tests such as a comprehensive metabolic panel, may be requested. More specific tests, such as alanine transaminase, aspartate aminotransferase, or alkaline phosphatase, may be used to identify the illness and pinpoint which organs are affected if LD is increased. Total LD levels may be ordered at regular intervals to monitor the course and/or resolution of the acute or chronic issue once it has been diagnosed.

When a person has had muscle damage or injury, or when they have signs and symptoms of hemolytic anemia, LD levels may be ordered.

When a person has been diagnosed with cancer, LD testing may be performed on a regular basis.

When a person exhibits signs and symptoms of meningitis, or when there is an accumulation of fluid around the heart, lungs, or abdomen, this test may be recommended.

What does a Lactate Dehydrogenase blood test check for?

Lactate dehydrogenase is an energy-producing enzyme found in nearly all of the body's cells, with the highest concentrations in the heart, liver, muscles, kidneys, lungs, and blood cells; bacteria also produce LD. This test determines the amount of LD in the blood or other bodily fluids.

In the fluid component of the blood, just a little quantity of LD is normally measurable. When cells are injured or destroyed, LD is released into the bloodstream. As a result, an LD blood level is a non-specific indicator of tissue damage elsewhere in the body. It cannot be used to determine the underlying cause or location of cellular damage on its own. It can, however, be used in conjunction with other blood tests to assist diagnose and/or monitor disorders that cause tissue damage, such as liver or blood diseases, or cancer.

Fluid can accumulate or the components of the fluid present can change when there is damage, inflammation, or infection in a specific area of the body, such as the brain, heart, or lungs. The amount of LD in the fluid could help you figure out what's wrong. When a person has bacterial meningitis, for example, LD levels in the cerebrospinal fluid are usually high. The LD test, in combination with other tests, can be used to detect whether fluid buildup around the heart, lungs, or abdominal cavity is caused by injury or inflammation or by an imbalance of fluid pressure inside blood vessels and blood protein levels. Some fluids that can be analyzed using an LD test are listed in the article on Body Fluid Analysis.

Lab tests often ordered with a Lactate Dehydrogenase test:

  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Haptoglobin
  • Hepatic Function Panel

Conditions where a Lactate Dehydrogenase test is recommended:

  • Liver Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Lung Diseases
  • Heart Disease
  • Heart Attack
  • Anemia
  • Meningitis
  • Pancreatic Diseases
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Leukemia

How does my health care provider use a Lactate Dehydrogenase test?

A lactate dehydrogenase test is a non-specific test that can be used to diagnose a variety of diseases and disorders. When cells are injured or destroyed, LD, an enzyme found in practically all of the body's cells, is released from the cells into the fluid portion of blood. As a result, the presence of LD in the blood is a general sign of tissue and cellular damage. In the presence of certain disorders, the amount of LD may also grow in other types of body fluids.

A blood test for LD may be used:

  • As a broad measure of whether or not acute or chronic tissue injury exists and how severe it is
  • To diagnose and track the progression of illnesses such as anemia and severe infections.
  • To aid in the staging, prognosis, and/or monitoring of cancers such as germ cell tumors, lymphoma, leukemia, melanoma, and neuroblastoma, as well as lymphoma, leukemia, melanoma, and neuroblastoma.

Body fluids are subjected to an LD test for a variety of reasons:

  • To aid in the evaluation of cerebrospinal fluid and the differentiation between bacterial and viral meningitis
  • To identify whether the build up of fluid is related to an injury and inflammation or to an imbalance of pressure within blood vessels and the amount of protein in the blood by evaluating other body fluids such as peritoneal, pleural, or pericardial fluid. This information is useful in determining therapy options.

Other fluids that can be tested using an LD test are included in the article on Body Fluid Analysis.

What do my lactate dehydrogenase test results mean?

LD values that are elevated usually indicate tissue damage. As cellular death begins, LD levels normally climb, peak after a period of time, and then begin to diminish. LD levels are raised in a number of situations, indicating that it has a wide tissue distribution.

Elevated LD levels may be seen with:

  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Pernicious anemia 
  • Infectious mononucleosis
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • HIV
  • Sepsis
  • Intestinal and pulmonary infarctions
  • Acute kidney disease
  • Acute hepatitis
  • Acute muscle damage
  • Pancreatitis
  • Fractures of the bones
  • Malignancies of the testicles, lymphoma, or other cancers

A high level of LD in the blood may suggest that cancer treatment has failed. A high level is associated with a poorer prognosis for cancer patients. Moderately high LD blood levels may remain in several chronic and progressive diseases. LD levels that are low or normal do not usually indicate a concern. When a high amount of ascorbic acid is consumed, low levels can occur.

Fluids in the body:

  • Cerebrospinal fluid—a high LD implies bacterial meningitis, whereas a low or normal amount indicates viral meningitis is more likely.
  • Pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, or pleural fluid with a high LD is an exudate, while fluid with a low LD is a transudate. Cirrhosis or congestive heart failure are the most common causes of transudates. Exudates can have a variety of causes, and determining the cause usually necessitates additional testing.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: PSA Total is a test that is used to measure the total amount of PSA in the blood. There are two types of PSA, complex and free, and this test will measure the total sum of both. This test does not specify how much of each. If a measure of each amount is desired the test PSA, Free and Total #31348 will be able to differentiate between each one.

Also Known As: Prostate Specific Antigen Test, PSA Test, Prostate test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a PSA Total test ordered?

PSA is commonly ordered as a routine test in men over the age of 55, or 40 if they have a relative who has had prostate cancer. It is used to help identify, diagnose, and monitor prostate cancer. This test should also be ordered if the patient is having difficulty urinating or it becomes painful to do so.

The guideline is to start testing at age 40 or 45 for people at high risk, such as African-American men and men with a family history of the condition.

A healthcare professional may schedule a repeat test a few weeks later if the total PSA level is elevated to see if the PSA concentrations have returned to normal.

When a man's total PSA is significantly elevated, a free PSA is usually ordered. The results provide further information to the healthcare professional regarding whether the person is at an elevated risk of prostate cancer and aid in the choice to biopsy the prostate.

The total PSA may be conducted at regular intervals during the treatment of men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, as well as when a man is on "watchful waiting" and not currently being treated for his cancer.

What does a PSA Total blood test check for?

PSA is a protein produced predominantly by cells in the prostate, a tiny gland that surrounds the urethra in males and generates a fluid that is a component of semen. The majority of PSA produced by the prostate is discharged into this fluid, but minor amounts can also be found in the bloodstream. This test determines how much PSA is present in the blood.

The PSA test is used to screen for and monitor prostate cancer as a tumor marker. It's a good tool, but it's not perfect, and most experts agree that asymptomatic men should only be screened after having a detailed discussion with their healthcare professionals about the benefits and dangers, and after making an informed decision to do so. PSA levels that are high are linked to prostate cancer, but they can also indicate prostatitis or benign prostatic hyperplasia. PSA levels rise with age in all men, but men of African American ancestry may have greater levels than other men, even at a younger age.

PSA is not a cancer indicator. The prostate biopsy, which involves taking small samples of prostate tissue and examining them under a microscope for abnormal cells, is the gold standard for detecting prostate cancer. The total PSA test and the digital rectal exam are used to evaluate whether a prostate biopsy is necessary.

The purpose of prostate cancer screening is to discover the disease when it is still contained within the prostate. Once the diagnosis of prostate cancer has been verified by biopsy, a treatment decision must be determined. As men get older, prostate cancer becomes more common, and many, if not all, of the tumors are slow-growing. While prostate cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in men, slow-growing prostate cancer is a rare cause of death. A pathologist may be able to tell the difference between cancers that grow slowly and spread to other regions of the body and cancers that grow quickly and spread to other parts of the body.

Overdiagnosis and overtreatment are two challenges that health professionals are currently dealing with. In certain situations, the treatment is worse than the cancer, with substantial side effects including as incontinence and erectile dysfunction possible. In general, neither the PSA test nor the DRE can indicate how a person's condition will progress.

In the blood, PSA is found in two forms: complexed and free. The total PSA test, which analyzes the sum of complexed and free PSA in the blood, is the most often used PSA test.

When the total PSA is only slightly raised, the free PSA test is occasionally used to help assess whether a biopsy should be performed. PSA is an enzyme, and when it is released into the bloodstream, some circulating proteins link to it and inactivate it. In BPH, benign prostate cells produce PSA that is not active, whereas malignant prostate cells produce PSA that is already protein-bound.

As a result, men with BPH tend to have greater levels of free PSA, while men with prostate cancer have lower levels. Even if total PSA is not dramatically raised, a relatively low amount of free PSA raises the chances of cancer.

Lab tests often ordered with a PSA Total test:

  • CEA
  • Tumor Markers

Conditions where a PSA Total test is recommended:

  • Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a PSA Total test?

Both the PSA test and the digital rectal exam can be used to screen for prostate cancer in both asymptomatic and symptomatic men. PSA is a protein produced predominantly by prostate cells. The majority of PSA is released into the sperm, although minor amounts are also released into the blood. PSA is found in the blood in two forms: free and complexed. PSA levels can be measured in the lab as either free or total PSA.

Some organizations, such as the United States Preventive Services Task Force, believe that the risks of over-diagnosis and over-treatment outweigh the potential advantages of PSA screening in healthy men of any age, and advise against using PSA to test for prostate cancer in healthy men of any age. Before deciding whether or not to be screened for prostate cancer, the American Cancer Society and the American Urological Association urge that men consider the benefits and drawbacks of PSA-based screening with their healthcare professional.

While elevated PSA levels are linked to cancer, they can also be produced by disorders like benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate inflammation. A biopsy may be required in the case of an increased PSA, which carries the risk of consequences such as discomfort, fever, blood in the urine, and urinary tract infection.

Even though prostate cancer is the second most frequent cancer in males and the second leading cause of death, many prostate tumors grow slowly. These slow-growing kinds may never create symptoms or pose a threat to one's life. Prostate cancer discovered by screening, on the other hand, may be treated with surgery or radiation therapy, which can have major side effects like incontinence or erectile dysfunction.

Because the total PSA test might be temporarily raised for a variety of causes, if an initial PSA is elevated, a follow-up PSA may be performed a few weeks later to see if the PSA is still elevated. If the repeat test shows an elevated level, a healthcare professional may suggest taking a series of PSAs over time to see if the level drops, stays elevated, or rises. When a cancer looks to be slow-growing, the healthcare professional and patient may decide to watch its progress rather than treat it right away.

A free PSA test can be done to look at the ratio of free to total PSA if the DRE is normal but the PSA is considerably increased. This can assist distinguish between prostate cancer and other sources of increased PSA that aren't cancer.

If either the PSA or the DRE are abnormal, other testing may be ordered. A urinalysis, for example, can be used to screen for a urinary tract infection, and imaging tests like an ultrasound can be used to inspect the prostate.

The total PSA test may be used as a monitoring tool to help determine the success of treatment if prostate cancer is diagnosed. It may also be ordered following therapy at regular intervals to identify cancer recurrence.

What do my PSA Total test results mean?

PSA test results can be interpreted in a variety of ways, and the cutoff values used by different laboratories may differ.

Total PSA levels below 4.0 ng/ml are considered unlikely to indicate the existence of prostate cancer. Some argue that this limit should be reduced to 2.5 ng/ml in order to detect more prostate cancer cases. Others contend that this might result in more malignancies being diagnosed and treated that aren't clinically important.

Men with a total PSA level of more than 10.0 ng/ml are thought to be at a higher risk of prostate cancer.

Total PSA readings of 4.0 to 10.0 ng/ml may suggest prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, or prostate inflammation. These problems, as well as an increase in PSA levels, are more common among the elderly. The "gray zone" is defined as total PSA levels between 4.0 and 10.0 ng/ml. The free PSA may be beneficial in this range.

Prostate cancers produce primarily complexed PSA rather than free PSA. Prostate cancer cells create more free PSA, which does not bind to proteins. As a result, when men in the gray zone have lower levels of free PSA, they have higher levels of cPSA and a higher risk of prostate cancer. When individuals have high amounts of free PSA but low cPSA, however, the danger is reduced. The ratio of free to total PSA can assist the patient and his healthcare professional in determining whether or not a prostate biopsy is necessary.

Additional analyses of PSA test results are occasionally utilized to improve the total PSA's efficacy as a screening tool. They are as follows:

  • PSA velocity is the rate at which PSA concentrations fluctuate over time; if the PSA continues to climb rapidly over time, prostate cancer is more likely. If it rises quickly, the patient may be suffering from a more aggressive kind of cancer.
  • PSA doubling time is a kind of PSA velocity that quantifies the rate at which the PSA concentration doubles.
  • PSA density is a comparison of PSA concentration and prostate volume; if the PSA level is higher than one would predict given the size of the prostate, the likelihood of cancer is higher.
  • PSA ranges adapted to a man's age—Because PSA values typically rise with age, it has been advocated that normal ranges be customized to a man's age.

The PSA level should start to drop with prostate cancer treatment, and should be very low or undetectable at the end of treatment. If concentrations do not drop to extremely low levels, the treatment is ineffective. Following treatment, the PSA test is repeated at regular intervals to check for recurrence of cancer. Because even small increases can be important, persons who are impacted should have their monitoring PSA tests done by the same laboratory each time to reduce testing variation.

A test known as "ultrasensitive PSA" may be helpful in detecting cancer persistence or recurrence after therapy. PSA is detected at significantly lower levels in this test than in regular PSA tests. Increases in PSA related to the persistence or return of cancer, it has been proposed, can be detected much sooner using this test. The results of this test, however, should be regarded with caution. Because the test is so sensitive, even when no cancer is present, minor rises in PSA levels can occur from one time to the next.

Is there anything else I should know about the Prostate Specific Antigen Total test?

The blood sample is normally taken before the DRE since the DRE can induce a brief increase in PSA.

PSA levels will be dramatically elevated following prostate procedure such as biopsy or excision. Before surgery or six weeks after manipulation, a blood test should be performed.

A brief increase in PSA level can be caused by strenuous physical activity that affects the prostate, such as cycling. Ejaculation within 24 hours of a PSA test can result in higher PSA values, thus it's best to avoid it.

Some chemotherapy medicines, such as cyclophosphamide and methotrexate, can raise or lower PSA levels in high dosages.

PSA levels may briefly rise in some men as a result of other prostate problems, particularly infection. According to a research, nearly half of men with high PSA levels saw their levels return to normal after a period of time. Before taking any further action, several authorities urge that a high PSA be repeated between 6 weeks and 3 months following the initial high PSA. If there is indication that the prostate is infected, some doctors will prescribe antibiotics.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: PSA Free and Total is a test that is used to measure the total amount of PSA in the blood along with the amount of free PSA. There are two types of PSA, complex and free. This test is used to measure both and to calculate the PSA ratios.

Also Known As: Prostate Specific Antigen Test, PSA Free and Total Test, PSA Free Test, PSA Total Test, PSA Blood Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a PSA Free and Total test ordered?

The American Cancer Society recommends that healthy men of average risk wait until age 50 to be screened for prostate cancer, whereas the American Urological Association suggests screening for men between the ages of 55 and 69, with no routine screening after age 70.

The guideline is to start testing at age 40 or 45 for people at high risk, such as African-American men and those with a family medical history of the condition.

When a man develops symptoms that could be caused by prostate cancer, such as difficult, painful, and/or frequent urination, back discomfort, and/or pelvic pain, a total PSA test and digital rectal exam may be prescribed.

A healthcare professional may schedule a repeat test a few weeks later if the total PSA level is elevated to see if the PSA concentrations have returned to normal.

When a man's total PSA is significantly elevated, a free PSA is usually ordered. The results provide further information to the healthcare professional regarding whether the person is at an elevated risk of prostate cancer and aid in the choice to biopsy the prostate.

The total PSA may be conducted at regular intervals during the treatment of men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, as well as when a man is on "watchful waiting" and not currently being treated for his cancer.

What does a PSA Free and Total blood test check for?

Prostate specific antigen is a protein produced predominantly by cells in the prostate, a tiny gland that surrounds the urethra in males and generates a fluid that is part of the sperm. The majority of PSA produced by the prostate is discharged into this fluid, but minor amounts can also be found in the bloodstream. This test determines how much PSA is present in the blood.

The PSA test is used to screen for and monitor prostate cancer as a tumor marker. It's a good tool, but it's not perfect, and most experts agree that asymptomatic men should only be screened after having a detailed discussion with their healthcare professionals about the benefits and dangers, and after making an informed decision to do so. PSA levels that are higher than normal are linked to prostate cancer, but they can also be detected in prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia. PSA levels rise with age in all men, but men of African American ancestry may have greater levels than other men, even at a younger age.

PSA is not a cancer indicator. The prostate biopsy, which involves taking small samples of prostate tissue and examining them under a microscope for abnormal cells, is the gold standard for detecting prostate cancer. The total PSA test and the digital rectal exam are combined to help determine whether a prostate biopsy is necessary.

The purpose of prostate cancer screening is to discover the disease when it is still contained within the prostate. Once the diagnosis of prostate cancer has been verified by biopsy, a treatment decision must be determined. As men get older, prostate cancer becomes more common, and many, if not all, of the tumors are slow-growing. While prostate cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in men, slow-growing prostate cancer is a rare cause of death. A pathologist may be able to tell the difference between cancers that grow slowly and spread to other regions of the body and cancers that grow quickly and spread to other parts of the body.

Overdiagnosis and overtreatment are two challenges that health professionals are currently dealing with. In certain situations, the treatment is worse than the cancer, with substantial side effects including as incontinence and erectile dysfunction possible. In general, neither the PSA test nor the DRE can indicate how a person's condition will progress.

PSA is found in the blood in two forms: complexed and free. The total PSA test, which analyzes the sum of complexed and free PSA in the blood, is the most often used PSA test.

When the total PSA is only slightly raised, the free PSA test is occasionally used to help assess whether a biopsy should be performed. PSA is an enzyme that is inactivated by circulating proteins that bind to it when it is released into the bloodstream. In BPH, benign prostate cells emit PSA that is not active, but malignant prostate cells release PSA that is already coupled to a protein.

As a result, men with BPH tend to have greater levels of free PSA, while men with prostate cancer have lower levels. Even if total PSA is not dramatically raised, a relatively low amount of free PSA raises the chances of cancer.

Lab tests often ordered with a PSA Free and Total test:

  • CEA
  • Tumor Markers

Conditions where a PSA Free and Total test is recommended:

  • Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

How does my health care provider use a PSA Free and Total test?

Both the PSA test and the digital rectal exam can be used to screen for prostate cancer in both asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals. PSA is a protein produced predominantly by prostate cells. The majority of PSA is released into the sperm, although minor amounts are also released into the blood. PSA is found in the blood in two forms: free and complexed. PSA levels can be measured in the lab as either free or total PSA.

Some organizations, such as the United States Preventive Services Task Force, believe that the risks of over-diagnosis and over-treatment outweigh the potential advantages of PSA screening in healthy men of any age, and advise against using PSA to test for prostate cancer in healthy men of any age. Before deciding whether or not to be screened for prostate cancer, the American Cancer Society and the American Urological Association urge that men consider the benefits and drawbacks of PSA-based screening with their healthcare professional.

While elevated PSA levels are linked to cancer, they can also be produced by disorders like benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate inflammation. A biopsy may be required in the case of an increased PSA, which carries the risk of consequences such as discomfort, fever, blood in the urine, and urinary tract infection.

Even though prostate cancer is the second most frequent cancer in males and the second leading cause of death, many prostate tumors grow slowly. These slow-growing kinds may never create symptoms or pose a threat to one's life. Prostate cancer discovered by screening, on the other hand, may be treated with surgery or radiation therapy, which can have major side effects like incontinence or erectile dysfunction.

Because the total PSA test might be temporarily raised for a variety of causes, if an initial PSA is elevated, a follow-up PSA may be performed a few weeks later to see if the PSA is still elevated. If the repeat test shows an elevated level, a healthcare professional may suggest taking a series of PSAs over time to see if the level drops, stays elevated, or rises. When a cancer looks to be slow-growing, the healthcare professional and patient may decide to watch its progress rather than treat it right away.

A free PSA test can be done to look at the ratio of free to total PSA if the DRE is normal but the PSA is considerably increased. This can assist distinguish between prostate cancer and other sources of increased PSA that aren't cancer.

If the PSA or DRE are abnormal, other testing may be ordered. A urinalysis, for example, can be used to screen for a urinary tract infection, and imaging tests like an ultrasound can be used to inspect the prostate.

The total PSA test may be used as a monitoring tool to help determine the success of treatment if prostate cancer is diagnosed. It may also be ordered following therapy at regular intervals to identify cancer recurrence.

What do my PSA test results mean?

PSA test results can be interpreted in a variety of ways, and the cutoff values used by different laboratories may differ.

Total PSA levels below 4.0 ng/ml are considered unlikely to indicate the existence of prostate cancer. Some argue that this limit should be reduced to 2.5 ng/ml in order to detect more prostate cancer cases. Others contend that this might result in more malignancies being diagnosed and treated that aren't clinically important.

Men with a total PSA level of more than 10.0 ng/ml are thought to be at a higher risk of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer, benign prostate hyperplasia, or inflammation can all be indicated by total PSA readings between 4.0 and 10.0 ng/ml. These problems, as well as an increase in PSA levels, are more common among the elderly. The "gray zone" is defined as total PSA levels between 4.0 and 10.0 ng/ml. The free PSA may be beneficial in this range.

Prostate cancers generally produce a lot of complexed PSA rather than free PSA. Prostate cancer cells create more free PSA, which does not bind to proteins. As a result, when men in the gray zone have lower levels of free PSA, they have higher levels of cPSA and a higher risk of prostate cancer. When individuals have high amounts of free PSA but low cPSA, however, the danger is reduced. The ratio of free to total PSA can assist the patient and his healthcare professional in determining whether or not a prostate biopsy is necessary.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: Thyroglobulin antibodies is a blood test used to check for thyroid autoimmune disorders.

Also Known As: Thyroid Autoantibodies Test, Antithyroid Antibodies Test, Antithyroglobulin Antibody Test, TgAb Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Thyroglobulin Antibody test ordered?

When a person has irregular TSH and/or free T4 test results, symptoms of low or high thyroid hormone levels, or the appearance of a goiter, testing may be performed, especially if the reason is considered to be an autoimmune condition.

Hypothyroidism can produce a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Gaining weight
  • Fatigue
  • Skin that is dry
  • Hair loss
  • Cold intolerance
  • Constipation

Hyperthyroidism can produce symptoms such as:

  • Sweating
  • Heart rate that is quite fast
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeping problems 
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Eyes that protrude

If a pregnant woman has a known autoimmune thyroid illness, or if another autoimmune disorder is suspected, one or more thyroid antibodies may be ordered early in the pregnancy and again at the end. These tests are performed to see if the newborn is at risk for thyroid problems. Thyroid antibodies can pass the placenta, causing hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism in a newborn or developing kid.

Thyroid antibody testing may also be recommended if a person with another autoimmune condition has thyroid dysfunction symptoms and/or has reproductive problems that a healthcare provider suspects are caused by autoantibodies.

What does a Thyroglobulin Antibody blood test check for?

Thyroglobulin antibodies are thyroid antibodies. Thyroid autoantibodies are antibodies that form when a person's immune system incorrectly attacks thyroid gland or thyroid protein components, causing chronic thyroid inflammation, tissue destruction, and/or thyroid function disruption. Specific thyroid autoantibodies in the blood are detected and quantified using laboratory techniques.

The thyroid gland is a tiny, butterfly-shaped gland in the throat that rests flat against the windpipe. Thyroxine and triiodothyronine, the two key hormones it generates, are critical in regulating the pace at which the body uses energy. Thyroid stimulating hormone stimulates the thyroid to generate T4 and T3 as needed by the body's feedback system. This mechanism aids in the maintenance of a reasonably constant level of thyroid hormones in the blood. Thyroid antibodies can cause chronic diseases and autoimmune disorders linked with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, such as Graves disease or Hashimoto thyroiditis, when they interfere with this process.

Lab tests often ordered with a Thyroglobulin Antibody test:

  • T3 Free
  • T3 Total
  • T4 Free
  • T4 Total
  • T3 Reverse
  • T3 Uptake
  • Thyroid Peroxidase
  • TSH

Conditions where a Thyroglobulin Antibody test is recommended:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hashimotos
  • Graves’ Disease
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Thyroid Cancer

How does my health care provider use a Thyroglobulin Antibody test?

Thyroid antibodies, such as thyroid peroxidase antibody, are tested to assist diagnose and differentiate autoimmune thyroid disease from other types of thyroid failure. Thyroid autoantibodies form when a person's immune system mistakenly targets thyroid gland or thyroid protein components, causing chronic thyroid inflammation, tissue destruction, and/or thyroid function disruption.

To aid in the diagnosis and/or monitoring of an autoimmune thyroid condition, one or more of the following tests may be used:

  • Thyroid peroxidase antibody, an antibody that targets thyroid peroxidase enzyme in the thyroid gland, can be seen in Graves disease and Hashimoto thyroiditis.
  • Thyroglobulin antibody is an antibody that targets thyroglobulin, the thyroid hormone's storage form.

These tests may be conducted to determine the reason of an enlarged thyroid or other symptoms linked to low or high thyroid hormone levels. When other thyroid test findings, such as total or free T3, free T4, and/or TSH, indicate thyroid dysfunction, testing may be done as a follow-up.

A thyroid antibody test or several thyroid antibody tests may be conducted to see if a person with an autoimmune disorder is at risk of thyroid dysfunction. Disorders like systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and pernicious anemia can cause this.

A thyroglobulin test may be used to monitor someone who is being treated for thyroid cancer. The thyroglobulin antibody test is utilized in this scenario to see if the antibody is present in the person's blood and will interfere with the thyroglobulin level test.

What do my thyroglobulin antibody results mean?

Negative test results show that thyroid autoantibodies were not detected in the blood at the time of testing, implying that symptoms are caused by anything other than autoimmune disease. However, autoantibodies are absent in a small number of persons with autoimmune thyroid disease. Repeat testing may be done at a later date if it is suspected that the autoantibodies will develop over time, as with several autoimmune illnesses.

Thyroid antibodies can be identified in a range of thyroid and autoimmune conditions, including thyroid cancer, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pernicious anemia, and autoimmune collagen vascular diseases, with mild to moderately high levels.

Thyroid autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto thyroiditis and Graves disease are usually associated with significantly elevated amounts.

Thyroid antibodies, in general, indicate the presence of an autoimmune thyroid illness, and the higher the level, the more likely it is. Autoantibody levels that grow over time may be more relevant than steady levels because they may suggest an increase in the severity of autoimmune illness. All of these antibodies can increase the risk of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism in a growing baby or infant if they are present in a pregnant mother.

If a person with thyroid cancer has thyroglobulin antibodies, the testing for thyroglobulin levels may be hampered. This could suggest that the thyroglobulin test can't be utilized as a tumor marker or to track a person's thyroid cancer progression. The presence of thyroglobulin antibodies has little effect on some testing procedures, including mass spectrometry. The thyroglobulin test can be utilized as a tumor marker when tested in these methods, regardless of whether or not thyroglobulin antibodies are present. If a method is utilized that is impacted by thyroglobulin antibodies, the antibodies' levels can be used as a tumor marker to monitor thyroid cancer. If they first remain high or fall low but then rise over time, the treatment was ineffective and the malignancy is likely to continue or recur. If the levels are dropping and/or have dropped to low or undetectable levels, the therapy is more likely to have been successful in eradicating the malignancy.

Thyroid antibodies can be found in a small percentage of patients who are otherwise healthy. The incidence of these antibodies is higher in women, increases with age, and implies an increased risk of developing thyroid illness in the future for thyroid peroxidase antibodies. If a person has a thyroid antibody but no obvious thyroid disease, the healthcare professional will monitor the person's health over time. While the majority of people will never have thyroid problems, a small percentage will.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.



Did you know that 39.5% of men will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetimes? This means that it's likely that you could be one of these individuals who receive a diagnosis.

Hearing that you have cancer isn't great news by any means, but thanks to new technologies and treatments, you'll have a better shot at surviving today than ever before. In fact, many cancers are considered reversible if they're found in the early stages of development.

To catch cancer early, you should invest in cancer screening blood tests. These can help catch cancer signs in the body before the cancer cells have a chance to spread elsewhere.

Keep reading to learn more about cancer screening blood tests and how you can look for cancer symptoms in men.

What Is Cancer in Men?

Cancer is a very broad term that describes the group of diseases that occur with DNA mutation in human cells. More specifically, these DNA mutations and other cellular changes cause uncontrolled growth, division, and movement of cells throughout the body.

Normally, the body has a built-in mechanism to stop these kinds of problems in the body. However, cancer cells lack the components that would normally make them stop.

These are the most common cancers in men: 

  • Prostate cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Melanoma skin cancer.

Risk Factors for Cancer in Men

Cancer is a multifactorial disease, which means that several different factors can contribute to one case. Here are some of the most notable risk factors of cancer that we can prevent:

  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Excess body weight
  • Poor nutrition
  • Physical inactivity
  • Prolonged sun exposure
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Exposure to some chemicals

In addition to these preventable factors, there are other factors that aren't preventable. These include the following:

  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Ethnicity
  • Sex

You can't change your family history or your biological sex, but you can make lifestyle choices that can help reduce the risk of developing cancer. Focus on the risk factors you can control rather than obsessing about the ones you can't.

Causes of Cancer in Men

Cancer develops when there is a mutation in the DNA in your body cells. DNA tells the body's cells how to perform, grow, and divide. Without these explicit instructions, cell growth can run wild.

Gene mutations can cause cells to grow rapidly without correcting mistakes in DNA errors. These cells will also lose the stop mechanism that would tell them when to stop uncontrolled cell growth.

You could be born with these gene mutations or develop them after birth. Mutations can also be caused by the following:

  • Smoke
  • Radiation
  • Viruses
  • Carcinogens
  • Obesity
  • Hormones
  • Inflammation

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Cancer in Men?

The signs and symptoms of cancer in men vary depending on the body part that the cancer cells are affecting. However, most cancers have the same general signs and symptoms:

  • A lump under the skin
  • An area of thickening on the skin
  • General fatigue
  • Unintended weight changes
  • Skin changes
  • Changes in urinary frequency
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hoarseness
  • Indigestion after eating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Fevers
  • Night sweats
  • Easily bruising

These signs and symptoms are located all over the body because cancer is a systemic disease. Even before cancer is able to spread throughout the body, it causes hormonal and metabolic changes. This causes a plethora of symptoms.

How Is Cancer in Men Diagnosed?

A cancer diagnosis occurs with a full workup. Your doctor may conduct a physical exam, cancer screening laboratory tests, imaging tests, and biopsies as needed. Depending on the symptoms you're experiencing, the physician will look at different areas of your body.

For example, if you're complaining of abdominal pain, they will get lab and image tests that pertain to the abdomen.

These tests can help healthcare workers determine if you have cancerous cells. Along with a biopsy, they can determine whether the cancer is benign or malignant.

The Lab Tests to Screen, Diagnose, and Monitor Cancer in Men

The best way to catch cancer is through screening tests. These tests aim to catch the disease early before it can cause any lasting damage to your body.

At Ulta Lab Tests, our cancer screening blood panel for men looks at the following tests:

  • Alpha-Fetoprotein - an elevated value suggests the presence of primary liver cancer or germ cell tumor
  • CA 125 - an elevated value suggests that you may have cancer as it measures cancer antigens in the blood
  • CA 19-9 - a protein that scientists associate with pancreatic cancer
  • CEA - an elevated level suggests that you may have cancer of the colon, rectum, prostate, ovary, lung, thyroid, or liver
  • PSA Total - the prostate-specific antigen that looks for signs of prostate cancer

By looking at all of these values, you and your healthcare provider can make better decisions regarding your health. If one of these tests results come back out of range, you need to get medical care to determine the stage and severity of your condition.

Get the Cancer Screening Blood Tests You Need at Ulta Lab Tests

If you think that you might have cancer, you need cancer screening blood tests.

The earlier that you detect cancer, the better the outlook of your cancer treatment will be. Early diagnosis is key when it comes to longevity and quality of life.

Ulta Lab Tests provides accurate and reliable tests that can help you make more informed decisions about your healthcare. Here are a few of the benefits you can take advantage of with Ulta Lab Tests:

  • You'll get secure and confidential results
  • You don't need health insurance
  • You don't need a physician's referral
  • You'll get affordable pricing
  • We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee

Order your cancer screening blood tests today. You'll get your results online in about 24 to 48 hours for most tests that we offer.

Take control of your health with Ulta Lab Tests today!