Tumor markers are substances made in excess in the body when
cancer or a benign (harmless) condition is present. Tests done on blood or
other body fluids can find tumor markers.
Some tumor markers can
help the doctor diagnose certain cancers. And tumor markers often help the
doctor track a person’s response to treatment. For example, a woman with
ovarian cancer may have a high CA 125 level when she is first diagnosed. After
treatment, her levels of CA 125 should fall. Then if her tumor marker level
goes up in the future, it could mean that the cancer has come back.
Tumor markers include:
Cancer antigen 15-3 (CA 153). This is a marker for breast
Cancer antigen 125 (CA 125). This is a marker for ovarian
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). This is a marker for
gastrointestinal tract cancer, among others.
antigen (PSA). This is a marker for prostate cancer.
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Ross Berkowitz, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.