Breast Health

Are you curious about blood tests for breast cancer tests? Learn what you need to know about breast health lab tests and order direct from Ulta Lab Tests today.


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ABO Group and Rh Type

Blood typing is used to determine an individual's blood group, to establish whether a person is blood group A, B, AB, or O and whether he or she is Rh positive or Rh negative.

The Different Blood Types

There are four major blood groups and eight different blood types. Doctors call this the ABO Blood Group System.

The groups are based on whether or not you have two specific antigens -- A and B:

  • Group A has the A antigen and B antibody.
  • Group B has the B antigen and the A antibody.
  • Group AB has A and B antigens but neither A nor B antibodies.
  • Group O doesn’t have A or B antigens but has both A and B antibodies.

There’s also a third kind of antigen called the Rh factor. You either have this antigen (meaning your blood type is “Rh+” or “positive”), or you don’t (meaning your blood type is “Rh-” or “negative”). So, from the four blood groups, there are eight blood types:

  • A positive or A negative
  • B positive or B negative
  • AB positive or AB negative
  • O positive or O negative

This test detects 3 mutations which account for approximately 90% of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations found in Ashkenazi Jews.

This test detects mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes which are the most common causes of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers.

C-Reactive Protein Cardiac (hs CRP) Useful in predicting risk for cardiovascular disease.

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CA 15-3 may be useful for monitoring patients with metastatic breast cancer and certain ovarian cancers. The CA 15-3 values from sequential samples have a high correlation with the clinical course in most patients with metastatic breast cancer.

CA 27.29 may be useful for monitoring patients for metastatic breast cancer.

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Increased serum CEA levels have been detected in persons with primary colorectal cancer and in patients with other malignancies involving the gastrointestinal tract, breast, lung, ovarian, prostatic, liver and pancreatic cancers. Elevated serum CEA levels have also been detected in patients with nonmalignant disease, especially patients who are older or who are smokers. CEA levels are not useful in screening the general population for undetected cancers. However, CEA levels provide important information about patient prognosis, recurrence of tumors after surgical removal, and effectiveness of therapy.

A Complete Blood Count (CBC) Panel is used as a screening test for various disease states including anemia, leukemia and inflammatory processes.

A CBC blood test includes the following biomarkers: WBC, RBC, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, MCV, MCH, MCHC, RDW, Platelet count, Neutrophils, Lymphs, Monocytes, Eos, Basos, Neutrophils (Absolute), Lymphs (Absolute), Monocytes(Absolute), Eos (Absolute), Basos (Absolute), Immature Granulocytes, Immature Grans (Abs)

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Test for myocardial infarction and skeletal muscle damage. Elevated results may be due to: myocarditis, myocardial infarction (heart attack), muscular dystrophy, muscle trauma or excessive exercise

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Useful in the diagnosis of hypochromic, microcytic anemias. Decreased in iron deficiency anemia and increased in iron overload.

A Hemoglobin (Hb) A1c Blood Test evaluates the average amount of glucose in the blood. The A1c test will help determine whether you are at a higher risk of developing diabetes; to help diagnose diabetes and prediabetes; to monitor diabetes and to aid in treatment decisions.

To assist with control of blood glucose levels, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has recommended glycated hemoglobin testing (HbA1c) twice a year for patients with stable glycemia, and quarterly for patients with poor glucose control. Interpretative ranges are based on ADA guidelines.

Serum iron quantification is useful in confirming the diagnosis of iron-deficiency anemia or hemochromatosis. The measurement of total iron binding in the same specimen may facilitate the clinician''s ability to distinguish between low serum iron levels caused by iron deficiency from those related to inflammatory neoplastic disorders. The assay for iron measures the amount of iron which is bound to transferrin. The total iron binding capacity (TIBC) measures the amount of iron that would appear in blood if all the transferrin were saturated with iron. It is an indirect measurement of transferri

Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD) (LDH)

Elevations in serum lactate dehydrogenase occur from myocardial infarction, liver disease, pernicious and megaloblastic anemia, pulmonary emboli, malignancies, and muscular dystrophy

PIK3CA mutation has been associated with poor prognosis in endometrial, breast and colorectal cancers. Mutations in exons 9 and 20 of PIK3CA ave also been associated with resistance to cetuximab therapy in patients with colorectal cancer.

Increased activity is associated with increased risk of arterial thrombosis, such as with unexplained premature myocardial infarction. As an acute phase reactant, the activity is increased after an acute event. Studies suggest PAI-1 may be a prognostic marker in early stage breast cancer.

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During pregnancy and postpartum lactation, serum prolactin can increase 10- to 20-fold. Exercise, stress, and sleep also cause transient increases in prolactin levels. Consistently elevated serum prolactin levels (>30 ng/mL), in the absence of pregnancy and postpartum lactation, are indicative of hyperprolactinemia. Hypersecretion of prolactin can be caused by pituitary adenomas, hypothalamic disease, breast or chest wall stimulation, renal failure or hypothyroidism. A number of drugs, including many antidepressants, are also common causes of abnormally elevated prolactin levels. Hyperprolactinemia often results in galactorrhea, amenorrhea, and infertility in females, and in impotence and hypogonadism in males. Renal failure, hypothyroidism, and prolactin-secreting pituitary adenomas are also common causes of abnormally elevated prolactin levels.

Useful in differentiating inflammatory and neoplastic diseases and as an index of disease severity. CRP is also useful in monitoring inflammatory disease states.

The Breast Health Foundation Panel 


  • Creatine Kinase (CK), Total
  • hs-CRP
  • Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD)
  • Sed Rate by Modified Westergren (ESR)


  • Glucose
  • Hemoglobin A1c (HgbA1C)


  • Ferritin
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC)
  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
  • Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy, Total, Immunoassay


  • ABO Group and Rh Type
  • CBC (includes Differential and Platelets)
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)

The Breast Health Foundation Panel 


  • Creatine Kinase (CK), Total
  • hs-CRP
  • Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD)
  • Sed Rate by Modified Westergren (ESR)


  • Glucose
  • Hemoglobin A1c (HgbA1C)


  • Ferritin
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC)
  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
  • Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy, Total, Immunoassay


  • ABO Group and Rh Type
  • CBC (includes Differential and Platelets)
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)


  • CA 15-3

Vitamin B12 is decreased in pernicious anemia, total or partial gastrectomy, malabsorption and certain congenital and biochemical disorders

Measurement of serum 25-OH vitamin D concentrations provide a good index of circulating vitamin D activity in patients not suffering from renal disease. Lower than normal 25-OH vitamin D levels can result from a dietary deficiency, poor absorption of the vitamin or impaired metabolism of the sterol in the liver. A 25-OH vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone diseases such as rickets and osteomalacia. Above normal levels can lead hypercalcemia.

Clinical Significance

Limbic encephalitis (LE) is a paraneoplastic neurological syndrome often associated with small cell lung carcinoma and more rarely with testicular, breast, and other tumors. Clinical hallmarks of paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis are changing mental status, short-term memory impairment, seizures, confusion, and behavioral changes. Hu antibody-negative LE patients usually do not develop symptoms beyond the limbic system and appear to improve more often after treatment of the cancer than those who have Hu antibodies, suggesting that the pathogenesis of the LE in both groups could be different. Recent studies have detected antibodies to voltage-gated potassium channels (VGKC) in patients with LE, with and without associated tumors. Neurological symptoms were found to improve with a reduction of VGKC antibody levels.

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Cancer affects nearly everyone at some point in their lives, either directly or indirectly. Breast cancer is an especially prevalent form of this tragic disease.

Invasive breast cancer affects 1 in 8 American women. Although men can develop breast cancer, it is about 100 times more likely to occur in women. Some other risk factors include

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Diet
  • Lifestyle choices

In many cases, this disease proves fatal. However, the chances of a positive outcome are much higher in cases of early detection. This is why many people choose to carry out a mammogram and breast cancer lab tests at regular intervals throughout their lives.

This article will discuss what breast health lab tests are and why they are important. Read on to find out everything you need to know.

What Are Breast Health Lab Tests?

Breast health lab tests are series of blood tests that can determine the health of a women's breasts.

As well as mammograms and self-checks of the breast, blood testing is an effective method of detecting breast cancer. Many different types of tests can help to detect abnormalities within the breasts.

There are three main categories of breast cancer testing that are normally carried out which are screening, diagnostic, and monitoring tests.

Screening refers to tests routinely given to women who are healthy. A diagnostic test is a type of test performed when it's suspected that a woman has breast cancer. Monitoring tests are tests performed when a woman has breast cancer and needs to keep a close eye on her condition.

Benefits of Breast Health Lab Testing

Early detection of breast cancer greatly raises the chances of a person recovering from the disease. Breast health lab testing can help women to be able to catch breast cancer early. It can also help to monitor the severity of an already existing condition.

According to the American Cancer Society, when you detect breast cancer early the 5-year relative survival rate is 99%. This is why early detection is so important.

For some women, regular breast cancer testing is recommended. For example, women who have immediate relatives who have had breast cancer are at a greater risk of developing the disease themselves. Likewise, women over the age of 45 are also at a higher risk and should get tested on a regular basis.

What Type of Breast Health Lab Tests Are Available?

There are several different kinds of breast health lab tests that are available. The two main types Ulta Lab Tests offers are The Breast Health Foundation Panel and The Breast Health Foundation Panel along with Cancer Screening. Each of these panels contains a number of different tests.

ABO Group and Rh Type

This test determines a person's blood type. Possible ABO blood groups include O, A, B, or AB. The Rh refers to an antigen that may or may not be present on the surface of red blood cells; whether a person is RH positive or not can have an effect on response to treatment and tumor progression.

CA 15-3

The CA 15-3 test is also known as the cancer antigen 15-3 test. It is used to monitor response to breast cancer treatment and recurrence of the disease. Conditions other than breast cancer can also cause an elevated CA 15-3 test result.

Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets Blood Test

The CBC test has a number of uses. Aside from detecting the overall health of the body, it can be used to detect certain cancers. It can also help to monitor the body's response to cancer treatments.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

The CMP includes 21 separate measurements. This panel tests how well different body functions are working. When high calcium levels are detected in this test, it can be a sign of breast cancer.

Creatine Kinase Total

This test checks levels of the enzyme creatine kinase in the blood. This enzyme is found in the brain, heart, and musculoskeletal system. High levels of CK in the blood can be a sign of an advanced tumor, among other things.

Hemoglobin A1c

The HgbA1C test measures levels of hemoglobin A1c in the blood. Low levels of this type of hemoglobin can indicate a higher risk of cancer. It is usually used to test for diabetes.

C-Reactive Protein Cardiac (hs-CRP)

The hs-CRP test is used to detect lower levels of C-reactive protein. High CRP levels have been linked to an increased risk of developing cancer. This protein denotes inflammation in the body.

Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity

The TIBC test checks the body's ability to attach itself to iron and transport it around the body. Lower serum iron and total iron-binding capacity can be a sign of cancer. This test can detect if someone has an iron deficiency.

Lactate Dehydrogenase 

This test measures levels of the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase in the blood. This enzyme is involved in energy production. This test can help to measure response to treatment of breast cancer.

Sed Rate by Modified Westergren

The ESR test helps to diagnose conditions associated with acute and chronic inflammation. Breast cancer can be one such disease. It can also help to monitor the progression of a disease.

Vitamin B12

This test, also known as a Cobalamin test, measures B12 levels. It is usually used to confirm a suspected B12 deficiency. However, elevated levels of B12 can be an indicator of cancer.


The ferritin test measures levels of this blood protein in the body. It can detect iron deficiencies. Breast cancer can cause blood ferritin levels to be high.

Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy, Total, Immunoassay

This test checks vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is necessary for proper immune function. Some studies have found links between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of certain cancers.

Breast Health Lab Panels FAQs

Below are some common questions regarding breast health lab panels, their benefits, and their uses.

Who Should Get a Breast Health Lab Panel?

If you're a woman who exhibits risk factors for cancer or are over the age of 45, you may want to get a breast health lab panel done. You can also use it to monitor your body's response to cancer treatment.

How Is the Panel Conducted?

A phlebotomist at an authorized patient service center will draw your blood and then send it to the nearest national testing facility for the tests to be performed. Then the sample gets taken away for testing. You should receive your results within a couple of days.

Benefits of Breast Health Lab Tests and a Breast Cancer Test

If you have worries about your breast health, you may want to order breast health lab tests or a breast cancer test today. Ulta Lab Tests offers highly accurate and reliable tests so you can make informed decisions regarding your health.

With Ulta, you'll get secure and confidential results, you don't need health insurance, and you'll always get affordable pricing. Take control of your health and order your breast health lab tests with Ulta Lab tests today.