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blood test

my partner is coming to the end of a 5 week chemo/radiotherapy course for locally invasive advanced bowel cancer.. so we are hoping the tumour has shrunk enough to operate.. he had a blood test today.. will this give any indication if the treatment is working?

Jane SH Nurse Advisor

Dear @mandajayne

Thank you for your post. The answer to your question depends on what specific blood test was requested by the doctor treating your partner. Some cancers produce chemicals (biomarkers) that can be found in the blood. Your Partner’s doctor might take some blood to test for these markers. They can use it to see how well his treatment is working. Ask his doctor to explain any test results to you, and how they show if his treatment is working.

with very best wishes

Jane SH

Charlotte Nurse Advisor

Hi @mandajayne,

Further to the reply by @Jane SH Nurse Advisor the best indicator of response to chemoradiotherapy treatment is the repeat scans he will have. Usually both the CT and MRI scans are repeated and then compared to the ones he had before the treatment commenced.

Comparision between these scans gives the best indication of firstly how effective the treatment has been and secondly if the tumour is now in an operable state.

The scans are usually repeated approx 4-6 weeks after treatment has finished as the effect of radiotherapy continues for some time after treatment ends.

With kind regards,