Cancer Marker

resizedimage150150 DNAAn appropriate health professional or medical doctor should always be consulted if a serious condition is suspected. All the information here should not be considered as conclusive medical advice.

Related test item Description
AFP (Liver) Alpha-Fetoprotein is a normal fetal serum protein synthesized by the liver, yolk sac, and gastrointestinal tract that shares sequence homology with albumin.AFP is of importance in diagnosing hepatocellular carcinoma and may be useful in screening procedures
CEA (Colorectal) Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a protein found in many types of cells but associated with tumors and the developing fetus. By the time a baby is born, detectable levels in the blood disappear.
CA19.9 (Pancreas)

CA 19.9 is a protein that exists on the surface of certain cancer cells. CA 19.9 does not cause cancer; rather, it is shed by the tumor cells, making it useful as a tumor marker to follow the course of the cancer.

CA 19.9 is used to help differentiate between cancer of the pancreas and bile ducts and other conditions.

CA12.5 (Ovary) CA12.5 is a protein that is present on the surface of most, but not all, ovarian cancer cells.
CA15.3 (Breast)

CA 15.3 is a protein that is produced by normal breast cells. It is produced by a gene that is often overexpressed (i.e., the body makes too many copies) in cancerous breast tumours, leading to an increased production of CA 15.3.

CA 15.3 does not cause cancer; rather, it is shed by the tumor cells and enters the bloodstream, making it useful as a tumor marker to follow the course of the cancer.


Epstein Bar virus (EBV) antibodies are a group of tests that are ordered to help diagnose a current, recent, or past EBV infection. EBV has been shown to have a direct relationship with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) where it can be detected in NPC tumours and patients with NPC tend to have
higher titres of EBV specific antibodies than the general population.

EBV is a member of the herpes virus family. Passed through the saliva, the virus causes an infection that is very common. After exposure to the virus, there is an incubation period of several weeks.

PSA (Protrate)

PSA is a marker for prostatic cancer. It is normally secreted into the prostatic duct system but small amounts diffuse into the plasma. This diffusion, and in consequence plasma PSA concentration, tend to be increased in prostatic cancer.

However, the sensitivity and specificity of PSA as a marker are limited by the fact that PSA’s concentration increases both with increasing age and benign prostatic hypertrophy.