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Blood test may offer early diagnosis and detection of colon cancer

The CRP blood test is a common test showing inflammation levels in the body.  CRP tests for levels of C-reactive protein, a substance produced in greater quantities by the liver when there is infection or inflammation present in the body.  The CRP test is non-specific, although a more specific version of the test is used to diagnose certain heart disease.  Recent research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research indicates a relationship between elevated CPR levels and colon cancer.  This relationship bolsters the theory that chronic inflammation is a marker of cancer or cancer risk. 

In the study, women with elevated CRP levels showed increased rates of colon cancer within three years of the CRP measurement.  The higher inflammation level detected by the CRP blood test may result from the patient's inflammatory response to the colon cancer.  High levels of CRP (inflammation) therefore may be an early detector of cancer, rather than a risk factor that predisposes a patient to getting colon cancer.