Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Health Risk Assessment and other Health Screenings topics.
When testing for cancer, doctors will often do a series of blood tests. A blood test for certain cancers might search for "cancer markers," also called "tumor markers."
Since a cancer in the body produces a certain protein, if that protein is found in the blood, it could indicate the presence of a tumor. Some cancer markers alert the doctor to a new cancer, while other cancer markers can only indicate the recurrence of a previous cancer.
While cancer markers can be useful, they are not foolproof. The detection of a cancer marker in a blood test does not necessarily mean you have cancer, and the absence of a cancer marker does not necessarily mean you are cancer free. Cancer markers are just one tool in a physician's arsenal. They must be used together with physical findings, other tests and medical history.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|