Lab Tests - What Can They Tell You About Your Health?

by : News Canada

(NC)-It's one of the most common phrases you hear from your doctor:

"I just want to run a few tests." Laboratory tests are among the most important aspects of modern health care. The College of American Pathologists estimates that "laboratory services drive more than 70 percent of clinical decisions from diagnosis through therapy and prognosis."

Lab tests are carried out to measure or detect substances in a person's body. These tests are important and are used by doctors to make informed decisions about your health and the appropriate treatment required. For some conditions, there is just no substitute for a laboratory test.

Kidney Transplants:

  • Laboratory tests help accurately diagnose kidney failure.

  • Lab tests are used to find a kidney match for transplant.

  • Ongoing testing ensures the patient stays healthy and their new kidney continues to function properly.


  • Lab tests, such as the Myriad genetic tests, identify genetic predisposition to breast, ovarian and colon cancers.

  • The final diagnosis of virtually all cancers is made using a laboratory test.

  • Lab tests monitor treatment of many cancers such as leukemias, prostate and cervical cancers.


  • Lab tests confirm your pregnancy and monitor the ongoing health of mother and baby.

  • Triple markers or amniocentesis tests tell you if the baby is OK.

  • Paternity tests can identify the baby's father.

Have you ever wondered who actually performs those tests?

There are a variety of skilled laboratory professionals who, as a patient, you may never see face-to-face. However, these individuals play a very important role in your healthcare.

"Every day, medical technologists and technicians perform thousands of different types of laboratory tests on patient samples such as - cells, tissues, blood, urine, spinal fluid, DNA, etc. These tests influence the majority of health care decisions," says Dr Brian Sheridan, Vice-President of Medical Affairs, of MDS Laboratory Services. "Tests performed in our laboratory are essential to the early detection and effective management of disease, which ultimately leads to Canadians living healthier and longer lives."

Medical technology professionals are the third largest group of health care professionals after nurses and doctors. Working behind the scenes, medical technologists play a key role in ensuring prompt diagnosis and treatment of your specific condition or disease.

For more information visit