You are here:

Oncology (General Cancer)/Can pancreatic cancer change your blood type?

Advertisement


Question
I'm 28 years old, female.

I've recently done some usual pre-pregnancy tests and I was very surprised to find out that my blood type came out as B+. I double checked it with a different lab so I'm sure it's B. But I know both my parents have type O so genetically speaking I couldn't come out a B...

I'm very worried because this doesn't make sense. I've never officially checked my blood type before as my mother always told me I must have O blood because both her and my father have O.

I was reading online that rarely, some cancers can change your blood type. I read that pancreatic cancer cells can aberrantly manifest A and B antigens, but I'm not sure if they can actually change your blood type.

In the past 2 months I've lost around 2 pounds and then gained 1 back and I have a feeling of fullness in my stomach especially when I eat, which causes me to eat less. My appetite is also low and sometimes I feel I have a knot in my stomach even when it's empty.

Should I be worried about pancreatic cancer? Can pancreatic cancer change blood type from O to B?

I also suffer from health anxiety (my mother died from breast cancer) so I can't tell if these symptoms are due to my strong anxiety or a real, serious problem, but the B type blood was an unexpected result.

Thank you for any answer and for your patience!

Answer
When blood is typed, what is being measured is an antigen on the surface of the cell.  Pancreatic cancer can manifest those antigens, on the cell surfaces of the cancer.  They can't actually change your blood type.  Therefore, barring a mistake on the part of the people who checked your type, and indeed, it would not be likely, there are two possibilities; a) you were adopted; or b) one or both of your parents may actually be heterozygous for the b antigen.   They should be re-checked.  
As for your symptoms, I strongly doubt they are due to pancreatic cancer.  That disease is almost never seen in someone your age.  Obviously they are of concern, and outside of symptoms of anxiety, problems include ulcer, gall stones, pancreatitis, etc.  
I'd check into these things but I wouldn't be concerned about cancer.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Donald Higby, M.D.

Expertise

I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.

Experience

I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

Organizations
American Society of Clinical Oncology

Publications
New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

Education/Credentials
MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Awards and Honors
America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.