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Doctor insights on: What Is Cancer Marker

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What is the cancer marker lab test CEA something?

What is the cancer marker lab test CEA something?

Colon cancer marker: The cea (carcinoembryonic antigen) test is a colon cancer tumor marker. As with most tumor markers, it is not used as a screening test for colon cancer (in other words, it is not used to find the cancer because of a relatively high false positive rate) but it is used to monitor the cancer once it has been diagnosed. This is particularly useful for treated colon cancer to see if the tumor reoccurs. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,310 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Could you tell me what are normal numbers on cancer marker tests?

Doubt that this will: I doubt that this info will help you. Tumor or Cancer markers are controversial in their usefulness. Moreover these markers typically do not help us with early diagnosis of Cancer as they go up only in advanced(frequently only is metastatic) cancer. If you have a specific question please make it more clear so that we can give you a more reliable answer. ...Read more

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How do doctors know to check for thyroid cancer? What symptoms are markers for it

How do doctors know to check for thyroid cancer? What symptoms are markers for it

A nodule: Hi. Presence of a thyroid nodule (a mass) prompts consideration of thyroid cancer (unless it's a hyperthyroid nodule...not a thyroid cancer risk). No nodule, no concern for thyroid cancer. Do you have have a nodule, or are you one of the "worried well"? Good luck! ...Read more

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My friend who has breast cancer gets her tumor markers checked, my mother also had breast cancer, what are the markers and could I get checked?

My friend who has breast cancer gets her tumor markers checked, my mother also had breast cancer, what are the markers and could I get checked?

Tumor "markers": ...Just don't work that well (outside of a few very specific tumors that don't include breast cancer), and should not be used to screen for cancer in someone without the disease. The odds are that any positive test would be a falsely positive. As far as what tumor markers are used for breast cancer, none are used routinely, and i'd ask your friend what the markers her docs are using. ...Read more

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Esophegeal cancer markers?

Esophegeal cancer markers?

Not for early CA: Unfortunately , non to detect very early stages ca 125 , ca 19.9 , cea will be elevated at later stages, used to monitor the disease. Ca 72.4 cyfra 21.1 being tested .Scca (also for ca of cervix other squamous ca ). ...Read more

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Does low levels of tumor marker indicate no more cancer?

Does low levels of tumor marker indicate no more cancer?

Not necessarily: Tumor makers are good for monitoring the response to treatment. Low or better yet, absent levels may mean that tumor is not there, however, more often it indicates a remission and levels increase if there is a recurrence. Therefore low levels of tumor markers do not always mean "no more cancer". ...Read more

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What are tumor markers, and does having them mean that I have cancer?

What are tumor markers, and does having them mean that I have cancer?

Blood tests: Tumor markers are blood tests that are sometimes used to follow progression of cancer once it has already been diagnosed. We rarely, if ever, use tumor makers to make a cancer diagnosis. There are many other reasons why these markers may be elevated including inflammation, infection, etc. ...Read more

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Husband diagnosed with cancer & given chemo 18mnths ago. Now they say his markers are raised?

Maybe more ca cells.: Some cancer cells secrete a hormone or antigen that can be measured in the blood, and give a hint of a tumor's presence or a recurrence of growth of new cancer cells. Examples are psa in prostate ca, cea in colon ca. How specific the markers are, the quantity increase, the sensitivity all are factors determining the significance clinically. The trained oncologist will discuss meaning & rx options. ...Read more

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What is a lymphocyte cd20? Is it a type of cancer marker?

What is a lymphocyte cd20?  Is it a type of cancer marker?

Yes: Most of your normal b-cells bear this marker. It's typically used in subclassifying malignant lymphomas that have already been diagnosed, in combination with a huge array of other markers, though it can be used to "light up" the distribution of b-cells in non-cancerous tissue as well. It's the target for Rituximab and some other new rx's. ...Read more

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What do blood tests for inflammatory markers in look for? Can they detect all or some cancers?

Limited usefulness: Labs like c-reactive protein are markers for what some physician describe as "generalized inflammation" which includes both patients seriously sick with classic inflammatory disease and people who are fat / out of shape / or are perhaps independent risk factors for atherosclerosis. They're not useful screens for cancer. ...Read more

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If your tumor marker is greater than 0 but less than 40 (around 20-26) does it mean you still have cancer and chemo didn't get it all?

No..: It depends on what tumor marker you are referring to. In most cancers, tumor markers are never 0 even in healthy individuals that never had cancer. What is more important than the number is the trend in the values. So if within the last 6 months the number are 20, 60, 130, 220, then it is reason to be concerned. Otherwise, it should be followed serially. ...Read more

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Are cea markers reliable for metastic colon cancer ?

Are cea markers reliable for metastic colon cancer ?

Depending how used: CEA first identified in 1965 by Phil Gold and Samuel O. Freedman in human colon cancer extracts. Thought to be valuable for dx colorectal Ca but the glycoprotein is also expressed in inflamed tissue so that smoking and enema can cause rise. Best used for monitoring so that if present in primary and rises it represents treatment failure and if diminishes during treatment it represents a response. ...Read more

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I've had a tumor marker test which is 45.. The test was for ovarian cancer. Could I have cancer?

Yes: Anybody can have cancer. The basis of diagnosis is the history, physical exam, and rational screening. I do not know what blood work you had, or whether the marker was above reference range or not. This question needs to be brought by you to, and answered by, your personal physician. I'm glad you're taking a proactive approach and wish you good luck on follow-up. ...Read more

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Are there any markers in labwork or numbers that if out of range could indicate the need to chk 4 thyroid cancer?

No: Hi. No, no lab tests indicate need to check for thyroid cancer. That is based on the finding of a thyroid nodule above a certain size. A mass, in other words. ...Read more

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What does tumour markers (for testicular cancer)mean? Does the cancer have to be wide spread before it shows in the blood?

No: There are three different tumor markers that can be elevated in different types of testicular cancer: beta hcg, afp, and ldh. They can be elevated even when the cancer is only in the testicle and hasn't spread anywhere else in the body. On the other hand, it is also possible to have metastases without elevated markers because some types often don't make any marker at all (eg pure seminoma). ...Read more

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If "tumor markers" are not very useful in finding cancer, why do doctors test blood for "tumor markers"?

By all: Guidelines, they should not. It is a sign of misguided good intent, but leads to worry and a wild goose chase. Some say it is because insurance pays for it, and if we were more involved, we would not want to waste limited dollars on unrewarding tests. Others says patients demand and want reassurance. Huge controvery with psa, prostate specific, but not cancer specific, may define early. ...Read more

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I realise that these markers aren't specific but wouldn't most advanced cancers cause elevated Sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein?

I realise that these markers aren't specific but wouldn't most advanced cancers cause elevated Sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein?

No: Nice to be able to help once again, Matt. The sed rate and especially the C-reactive protein result from the liver pumping out extra large amounts of a couple of particular proteins that are stimulated by very particular things that are often produced in inflammation and seldom in pure neoplasia. Forget most (not all) of what you've read about "immune response to cancer" as myth. Best wishes. ...Read more

Marker (Definition)

A "marker" is a protein or enzyme that can represent a disease process. Some markers are specific for a particular disease, while ...Read more