High blood platelet count ‘as good a cancer predictor as a lump in the breast

Blood clot - Wellcome images
Blood cells (shown in red) and blood clot (see here as a string-like mesh). Kevin Mackenzie/University of Aberdeen/Wellcome Images

A common blood test could help diagnose cancer earlier, according to research suggesting a high platelet count is strongly associated with the disease.

Platelets are tiny blood cells that circulate in the body, helping wounds to clot. But in some individuals too many platelets are produced – a condition known as thrombocytosis, thought to affect about half a million people in the UK over the age of 40.

Researchers say that raised platelet counts are as good a predictor of getting any cancer as a lump in the breast is for breast cancer. …

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