Inflammatory marker

Blood tests are known as ‘inflammatory markers’ can detect inflammation in the body, caused by many diseases including infections, auto-immune conditions, and cancers.

The tests don’t identify what’s causing the inflammation: it might be as simple as a viral infection, or as serious as cancer.

Predictive value of inflammatory markers for cancer diagnosis

Cancer should be considered in patients with raised inflammatory markers. However, inflammatory markers have poor sensitivity for cancer and are therefore not useful as ‘rule-out test.

Patients with a raised inflammatory marker have a one-year cancer incidence of 3.53% , compared to 1.50% in those with normal inflammatory markers

CRP ( C reactive protein )

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein made by the liver. CRP levels in the blood increase when there is a condition causing inflammation somewhere in the body. A CRP test measures the amount of CRP in the blood to detect inflammation due to acute conditions or to monitor the severity of disease in chronic conditions.

Inflammation and aging

Measurement of inflammatory markers has been conducted in centenarians. Centenarians demonstrate fewer signs of inflammaging


  1. Dr. Jessica Watson"How useful are inflammatory marker tests in primary care?" NIHR CLAHRC West project. NIHR ARC West replaced CLAHRC West on 1 October 2019

  2. Jessica Watson " Predictive value of inflammatory markers for cancer diagnosis in primary care: a prospective cohort study using electronic health records" British Journal of Cancer

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