• I need a refresher on what the tumor markers, that are derived from the blood tests, mean.

    Asked by Miriam on Wednesday, January 30, 2013

    I need a refresher on what the tumor markers, that are derived from the blood tests, mean.

    I have been done with chemo since the end of July and I have blood work done every other month. What should I be looking for in the tumor marker results? I am sure I was told what the numbers mean, but I can't find anything in my notes. Thanks.

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/detection/tumor-markers "Tumor markers are used to help detect, diagnose, and manage some types of cancer. Although an elevated level of a tumor marker may suggest the presence of cancer, this alone is not enough to diagnose cancer. Therefore, measurements of tumor markers are usually combined with other tests, such as biopsies, to diagnose cancer.

      Tumor marker levels may be measured before treatment to help doctors plan the appropriate therapy. In some types of cancer, the level of a tumor marker reflects the stage (extent) of the disease and/or the patient’s prognosis (likely outcome or course of disease). More information about staging is available in the NCI fact sheet Cancer Staging.

      Tumor markers may also be measured periodically during cancer therapy. A decrease in the level of a tumor marker or a return to the marker’s normal level may indicate that the cancer is responding to treatment, whereas no change or an increase may indicate that the cancer is not responding.

      Tumor markers may also be measured after treatment has ended to check for recurrence (the return of cancer)."

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Which markers? Ask for a copy of your lab report. It will show your result as well as the normal range. They each have different ranges and may be used, in conjunction with other diagnostics, as indicators of the possible presence of cancer if the blood result are high. Here is an explanation of the some of the markers than can be tested through blood. http://www.tc-cancer.com/tumormarkers.html

      over 4 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      Here you go, this is what I go by. Hope this helps you, Carm RN.

      over 4 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      Tumor markers for some people can indicate the presence or absence of cancer/metastis cancer.....but they are not accurate for everyone...symptoms are often a better indication of a problem....

      over 4 years ago

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