What are tumor markers?
Tumor markers are contained in blood, body tissues or urine. When cancer occurs, tumor makers may grow to a higher level. In this case, tumor markers are used for:
- Screening cancers
- Diagnosing cancers together with other testing
- Staging the cancer
- Determining prognosis and treatment methods
- Checking recurrence of the cancer
There are many types of tumor markers indicating different cancers. The major ones include:
- ALK gene for non-small cell lung cancer and anaplastic large cell lymphoma
- AFP (Alpha-feto protein) for liver, ovarian, testicular cancers and germ cell tumors
- B2M (Beta-2 microglobulin) for multiple myeloma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia
- CA 19-9 (Cancer antigen 19-9) for pancreatic cancer, gallbladder cancer, bile duct cancer, and gastric cancer
- HE4 for Ovarian cancer
- Thyroglobulin for thyroid cancer
- 70-Gene signature for breast cancer
There are still many other types of tumor markers. Consult your doctors for details.
Key words: tumor markers; cancer; usage.