Tumor Markers

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Specific tumor markers

The tumor markers listed here are available to most doctors and have reliable scientific information showing that they are useful.

This section lists 2 kinds of tumor marker tests:

  • Tumor markers found in blood or urine
  • Tumor markers found on the cancer itself (in tissue samples or biopsies of the cancer)

The cancers described in these brief summaries are those for which the marker is usually tested. These marker levels may be increased in other kinds of cancer, too. And though we may list the less common cancer types that may affect certain tumor marker levels, in many cases it’s not yet clear how helpful those tumor markers may be for those cancers.

As with other kinds of lab tests, different labs may consider slightly different marker levels to be normal or abnormal. This can depend on a number of factors, including a person’s age and gender, which test kit the lab uses, and how the test is done. The values listed here are average values. Most labs will list their own “reference ranges” along with any test results you get. If you are tested for a tumor marker, be sure to ask the doctor what your test results mean.

If you would like information on a specific type of cancer mentioned in connection with a tumor marker, go to our website and choose the cancer type from the drop-down menu Select a Cancer Type. You can also call us and ask for the cancer document.

Last Medical Review: 10/30/2013
Last Revised: 10/30/2013