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Are there blood tests that anyone have to monitor anything else beside Creatinine levels?

Posts: 66
Joined: Jun 2011

The only bloodwork I've been having is Creatinine, and it's mainly just before any CTs or MRIs - and it's to make sure my kidneys are going to deal with the contrast. Is there any one out there having any tests that might indicate whether something else is going on? I was looking at a lab order and it had something about VEGF - is that something anyone has done? Just wondering if there is other blood work I should insist on having?

rae_rae's picture
Posts: 300
Joined: Oct 2010

I am having my labs done next Wednesday at my Dr appointment. I will ask then. I have been negligent of asking what they are checking. I don't know what my creatinine is (gasp). I think I was so sick of trying to keep track of stuff that I haven't cared enough to ask. I am a bad patient. Will make a note to find out and let you know.

MikeK703's picture
Posts: 235
Joined: Sep 2010


I haven't had a CT scan yet, only two chest X-rays. I think the CT scan will be done on my next visit.

In any event, my urologist and my nephrologist both have me take the following blood test:
Chemistry Panel, which includes glucose, BUN, creatinine, sodium, potassium, chloride, CO2, anion gap SERPL, and GFR

My nephrologist also tests:
Hemoglobin and hematocrit, urine protein and creatinine, parathyroid

Now if you ask me the meaning of everything I'd have to say I only know what a few of them are. I know my creatinine and GFR are off somewhat because of the missing kidney, but as long as the others are in the normal range, I don't think much about them.


icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3336
Joined: Jan 2010

The doctors look at all of the bloodwork to gauge our general health as well as some bloodwork which is related to our Kidneys such as creatine, BUN, GFR and uric acid. The Uric acid is related to gout which is an off shot of less than perfest kidneys and something I got 8 years after surgery and is now under control by medication and diet.

foxhd's picture
Posts: 3183
Joined: Oct 2011

I believe calcium levels are also checked.

lbinmsp's picture
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2006

My oncologist always runs a full chemistry panel, I think it's called a Chem 12? It monitors not only kidney function but liver function as well and all other basic blood work (CBC, WBC, etc.) as well as electrolytes. My doctor said that any deviation from 'normal ranges' can be indicative of problems and, just like RCC, when detected early is a good thing.

Texas_wedge's picture
Posts: 2798
Joined: Nov 2011

I was hoping that my lab results would show that I had some blue blood but it hasn't happened so far :-(

Rae's point is a good one and it's cheering to see how many here do pay such close attention to the monitoring of their health. The Cancer Care broadcast workshops (to which I've recently given a link) are invaluable in stressing the importance of asking questions and keeping records. It is, of course, a problem knowing what are the important questions to ask!

It's particularly significant here, in the UK, where the flipside of our excellent National Health Service is that it is, perhaps ineluctably, intrinsically paternalistic - the 'gods in white coats' problem is much greater than in the US where paying/insurance for treatment dictates much greater pressure for accountability. Here, it's all too easy to be simply swept along by the system without asking enough questions. If you have reason to believe you're in good hands it's tempting to just go with the flow. With the best will in the world, oversights can occur and so it behoves us to be firmly in charge of our own health prospects. There was a fierce set-to in our House of Commons yesterday, at Prime Minister's Questions over the highly contentious Health Bill being put through (or not?!) by our Coalition Government.

In all the helpful detailing of what is tested for, no-one has addressed newenglandguy's question which was specifically about VEGF. So I suppose it's worth mentioning that it is an acronym for vascular endothelial growth factor which is essential in bodily functioning but a problem when it is responsible for angiogenesis (creating vasculature to send blood to nourish tumoursl. Pazopanib (Votrient) is one of the latest targeted therapies designed to help tackle that problem.

Maybe others here can tell newenglandguy whether testing for VEGF is standard procedure or only indicated in particular situations?

Minnesota Girl's picture
Minnesota Girl
Posts: 119
Joined: Jul 2011

I've been wondering the same. They drew a bunch of blood when I had my CT last week and used a little bit to check my GFR. I was planning to ask my oncologist just what all they are checking - you've inspired me to be sure that I do! Thanks!

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