Blood tests for cancer markers look for cancerous cells in the body. They are used to establish a cancer diagnosis, but also on already diagnosed patients in order to see if a certain treatment is working or not.
Doctors often recommend blood tests for cancer markers in order to determine whether or not there are cancerous cells in your body. Cancer markers are proteins produced by tumors in the body. Sometimes cancerous cells from these tumors break off, reach the bloodstream and circulate in the entire body. They are known as circulating tumor cells. Other than mchc blood test, the cancer markers test both the levels of protein and circulating cancer cells. They can indeed be of great importance in diagnosing and treating cancer, but they are not reliable enough to be used alone. For instance, there might be cases in which blood tests for cancer markers are falsely positive or falsely negative. These tests are helpful diagnosis tools, but using them doesn’t seem to improve the survival rate in any way.
Blood tests can be done before starting the actual treatment and also during the treatment. In the first case, they are used for establishing a diagnosis. In the second case, doctors analyze the results in order to find out if a certain treatment is working or not. The tests for cancer markers can also be of use in determining possible recurrences of cancer. It is important for doctors to know if the cancer responds to treatment or if they need to make adjustments. It is also vital to find out if treatment for recurrence is needed.
Several examples of blood tests for cancer markers include the CA15.3 test, the CA125 test, the CEA test and the TRU-QUANT and CA 27.29 tests. The first one is used to find out if breast or ovarian cancer is present. The CA 125 test can signalize if breast or ovarian cancer have come up again, after treatment. The TRU-QUANT and the CA 27.29 tests are used for diagnosing breast cancer. While the CEA tests is used for identifying lung, colon and liver cancer, it can also be of use for doctors who want to determine whether or not breast cancer has travelled to other body areas. The test for circulating tumor cells can also provide useful information. It is used mainly to monitor the circulation of tumor cells in women with metastatic breast cancer.
It is important to discuss the conclusiveness of blood tests for cancer markers with your doctor. These tests can be pretty expensive and they can subject you to a lot of anxiety. Elevated levels of cancer markers might have a negative impact on your mental condition because they mean that you will be subjected to other tests also.