Tumor Markers

All types of markers are analyzed to help diagnose possible tumor pathologies. These include, among others, AFP, total PSA, free PSA, PSA ratio, CEA, CA 15.3, CA 19.9 and CA 125, etc. Consult the laboratory for the offer of tumor markers.

There are no requirements for this test, no need to fast. Neither is an appointment necessary, blood draws are performed from 8:00h – 10:30h from Monday to Friday (children under 5 years old, please consult in advance).

The results are delivered within 48-72 hours.

Tumor markers are substances produced by cancer cells or other cells in the body in response to cancer or certain benign non-cancerous conditions. Some types of cancer can be detected, diagnosed and controlled after testing. In the case of men, these markers can warn of the presence of prostate cancer, liver cancer, germ cell tumors, colorectal cancer, etc. In the case of women, these tumor markers can warn of the presence of ovarian cancer, colorectal cancer or breast cancer.

The test consists of the extraction of a blood sample. If the tumor marker is used to determine if the treatment is working or if there is a recurrence, the concentration will be measured through new samples over a period of time. The test simply involves the collection of a blood sample in which the concentration of the tumor marker will be measured.

It should be noted that the results obtained should not be used as an early diagnosis test or diagnostic analysis when used alone, as they should always be used in combination with the clinical examination, the patient’s medical history and any other relevant clinical data.

The following tumor markers can be studied:

  • AFP (Alpha-fetoprotein). The tissue analyzed is blood. Through a sample can be diagnosed liver cancer and monitor the reaction to treatment. It also allows the stage, prognosis and reaction to treatment of germ cell tumors to be evaluated
  • Total PSA, free PSA and PSA ratio (prostate-specific antigen). This marker is used to assist in the diagnosis of prostate cancer, evaluate reaction to treatment, and look for recurrence. Whatever the periodicity indicated by the health professional, what science considers key is that PSA measurements are always performed with the same technique and, if possible, in the same laboratory. This ensures that the variations found are due to the evolutionary process of the tumor and are not technical alterations.
  • CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen). Through this tumor marker it is possible to monitor whether the cancer treatments are working well or check if the cancer has returned. The type of cancer for which it is performed is colorectal cancer, but it is not the only one.
  • CA 15.3. Its main use as a tumor marker is for monitoring the response to treatment of breast cancers and for early diagnosis of recurrences. CA 15.3 can only be used as a marker if the cancer is producing it in high quantities, and for this reason CA 15.3 is not useful in all people with breast cancer. The CA 15.3 can be ordered together with other tests such as estrogen and progesterone receptors.
  • CA 19.9. This tumor marker allows differentiation between pancreatic cancer and other diseases; but it is also used to monitor the response to treatment in pancreatic cancer and for early diagnosis of recurrences. 
  • CA 125. This test is performed to monitor ovarian cancer treatment or detect a recurrence of the cancer. It can sometimes be helpful in detecting ovarian cancer in its earliest stages in people at high risk.