A cancer marker is a substance produced by cancer cells or other cells in the body in response to cancer. Cancer markers are found in the blood, urine, or tissues and can be used to help find, diagnose, and stage cancer.
Cancer marker screening can also be used to monitor how well cancer treatments are working and to look for signs that cancer has returned after treatment has ended. Some cancer markers are specific to certain types of cancer, while others are present in several types of cancer. The most common cancer markers include:
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA)
- Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)
- Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)
- CA 125
- CA 15-3
- CA 27-29
Cancer markers are usually measured with a blood test, but they can also be detected with other tests, such as urine tests, tissue biopsies, and X-rays. A high level of a particular marker may indicate an increased risk of developing cancer.
However, it’s important to note that many conditions other than cancer can cause elevated levels of these markers. For example, PSA levels tend to be higher in men with an enlarged prostate gland (a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia).
In addition, some healthy people may have high levels of certain markers due to their family history or genetic makeup. As a result, cancer marker tests must be interpreted carefully before making treatment decisions.
Who Should Get Cancer Marker Screenings?
Cancer marker screening tests are done to look for specific changes in the body that may be linked to cancer. They’re generally recommended for people with cancer symptoms, like a lump or pain, and those with a family history of the disease or other risk factors, such as smoking.
However, screening tests aren’t often recommended for people without any symptoms or risk factors because they’re not always accurate and can cause undue worry and anxiety. In some cases, they may also lead to unnecessary treatments that come with serious side effects. All things considered, it’s important to talk to your doctor about whether cancer marker screening is right for you.
What are the Risks Associated with Getting Screened for Cancer Markers
While cancer marker screening tests can have several benefits, they also come with some risks. It is important that you are aware of these risks before you undergo any type of cancer screening.
One of the main risks associated with cancer marker tests is false positives. A false positive result means that the test indicates you have cancer when you actually don’t. This can cause a lot of unnecessary worry and anxiety.
In some cases, it may also lead to further testing or treatment that isn’t needed. Another risk associated with cancer marker tests is false negatives.
A false negative result means that the test indicates you don’t have cancer when you actually do. This can give you a false sense of security and may delay you from getting the treatment you need.
How Can You Reduce Your Risk of Developing Cancer
While you can’t completely eliminate your risk of developing cancer, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to lower your chances of getting the disease. These include:
● Quit Smoking
Cigarette smoking increases the risk for many types of cancer, including cancers of the lung, throat, mouth, bladder, kidney, and pancreas. It’s also responsible for the majority of cases of lung cancer.
Quitting smoking can be difficult, but it’s worth it. People who quit smoking before age 50 have half the risk of dying from smoking-related diseases as those who continue to smoke.
And those who quit before age 35 have a nearly identical life expectancy as people who never smoked. The sooner you quit smoking, the greater the health benefits. But quitting at any age can give back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke.
● Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can help lower your risk of developing cancer. Try to ensure that your diet is made up of lots of fruits, whole grains and greens. And try to limit processed meats and red meats.
Eating a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do for your health. It can help reduce your risk of developing cancer and other chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
● Exercise Regularly
Exercising for at least 30 minutes on most days can help lower your risk of cancer. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which is another important factor in cancer prevention.
If you’re not used to exercising, start slow and build up gradually. You can also find ways to add more activity to your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further away from your destination.
● Limit Alcohol Consumption
Drinking alcohol increases your risk of developing cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and breast. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to about one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
● Avoid Cancer-Causing Substances
There are many substances that are known to cause cancer. These include tobacco products, radon gas, asbestos, and air pollution. Avoiding exposure to these substances can help lower your risk of developing cancer.
● Get Regular Cancer Screenings
Regular cancer screenings can help find cancers early when they’re most treatable. Talk to your doctor about which screenings are right for you and when you should have them.
Cancer screening tests are used to look for cancer in people who don’t have any symptoms. These tests can help find cancer early when it’s most likely to be treated successfully.
Cancer marker screening can be your best defense against cancer. It can help find cancers early when they’re most treatable. Talk to your doctor about which screenings are right for you and when you should have them.
We offer cancer screenings and risk assessments to help you stay on top of your health. To learn more, call us (65) 8129 8877 or schedule an appointment online. You may also visit us at:
Artisan Health Clinic
290 Orchard Road #07-01,
Paragon Medical Suites,
Phone / Whatsapp
(65) 8129 8877