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Liver Cancer Screening Types of Cancer (G-Z)

Blood Test For Cancer Markers In Singapore – Liver Cancer Screening

Blood test for cancer markers - liver cancer

Blood Test For Cancer Markers – What Is It?

A cancer marker (or tumour marker) test is a procedure that tests for the presence of cancer markers in tissue, blood, urine, or other bodily fluids. A blood test for cancer markers is one that specifically uses samples of patients’ blood for testing.

Most tumour markers are proteins that may be produced by both normal and cancer cells. They are however produced in greater quantity by cancer cells. Tumour indicators include genetic abnormalities in tumour tissue such as gene mutations, gene expression patterns, and other changes in tumour DNA. A tumour marker test is typically used in conjunction with other tests, such as biopsies or imaging, to aid in the diagnosis of certain types of cancer. It may also be used to help plan treatment, determine how well treatment is working, provide a predicted prognosis, or determine whether cancer has returned or spread to other places of the body.

Pros And Cons Of Blood-Based Cancer Marker Tests For Cancer Screening

Tumour marker testing is not free of flaws. They are not always specific for cancer and may not be sensitive enough to identify an incidence of cancer. The presence of tumour markers alone is insufficient for cancer diagnosis. As such, they are subject to both false-positive and false-negative errors. Other tests will almost certainly be required to learn more about a probable malignancy or recurrence. Moreover, there are studies that also suggest that cancer markers may not manifest earlier than cancer symptoms.

While the cons may suggest that blood tests for cancer markers have limited use in cancer screening, one argument for them would be that they are typically less invasive or less onerous than other methods for cancer diagnosis – x-rays / imaging tests (such as MRI and CT scans), endoscopy, gastroscopy, etc. Symptoms of cancer may also be missed or dismissed by patients. The ease of blood testing for cancer markers makes yearly testing convenient, thereby increasing the chances of detecting cancer sooner than they would have been otherwise.

Cancer Marker Test For Liver Cancer Screening

Alpha-Fetoprotein Tumour Marker

AFP is a protein produced by the liver as its cells divide and expand to form new cells. AFP levels in unborn babies are typically high, but become very low after birth. There is relatively little AFP in the blood of healthy children and adults who are not pregnant. People with liver cancer may have elevated levels of AFP.

An AFP tumour marker test is a blood test that determines the amount of AFP (alpha-fetoprotein) in a blood sample. It is typically used to assist in the diagnosis of some types of cancer and to measure how effective treatment is working, producing cancers of the liver, ovaries, or testicles. It is not foolproof as even patients with early stage liver cancer may have normal levels of AFP. However, the American Cancer Society explains that some studies do suggest a link between better liver cancer survival and liver cancer screening (comprising blood tests and ultrasound scans).

Clinics That Offers Blood Tests For Cancer Markers In Singapore

If you are a higher risk for liver cancer and want to go a blood test to screen for it, below are some of the clinics offering cancer marker blood tests in Singapore that you can consider:

  1. Parkway Shenton
  2. Raffles Medical Group
  3. Lifescan Medical Centre
  4. Minmed
  5. Asiamedic

Further Reading On Liver Cancer

This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.