TUMOR MARKER TEST (ALPHA FETOPROTEIN-AFP)
You will provide
Blood Sample and Saliva
This test is for both
No specified preparation needed
Alpha Fetoprotein (AFP) Tumor Marker Test
What is an AFP (alpha-fetoprotein) tumor marker test?
It is a protein made in the liver of a forming baby. AFP levels are normally high when a child is born, but reduce to a very low level at the age of 1. Healthy adults have very low levels of AFP.
An AFP tumor marker test is a blood check that measures the degrees of AFP in adults. Tumor markers are elements made by cancer cells. High levels of AFP can be an indication of liver cancer or cancer of the ovaries or testicles. It is also an indication of noncancerous liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatitis.
High AFP degrees do not always suggest cancer, and normal levels don't usually rule out cancer. So an AFP tumor marker test is not always used by itself to diagnose cancer. But it can assist screen cancer when used with other tests. The test might also be used to check the effectiveness of the cancers therapy and to see if cancer has relapsed after you have completed treatment.
Other names: Total AFP, alpha-fetoprotein-L3 Percent
What is this test used for?
An AFP (alpha-fetoprotein) tumor marker test may be used to:
Assist validate or rule out a diagnosis of liver cancer or cancers of the ovaries or testicles.
Monitor ongoing cancer treatment. AFP levels usually elevate if cancer is spreading and decrease when treatment is working.
Check if cancer has relapsed after treatment.
Monitor the health of individuals with cirrhosis or hepatitis.
Why do I require an AFP tumor marker test?
You may require an AFP tumor marker test if a physical examination and/or other assessments indicate there is a chance you have liver cancer or cancer of the ovaries or testicles. Your doctor may order an AFP test to assist
Confirm or rule out the results of other tests.
You may need this test if you are presently being treated for one of these cancers, or just finished treatment.
The test can assist your doctor see if your treatment is working or if your cancer has relapsed after treatment.
Additionally, you might require this test if you have a noncancerous liver disease. Certain liver disease can put you at a greater risk of getting liver cancer.
What takes place at the point of an AFP tumor marker test?
A health care provider or doctor will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, with the use of a small needle.
After the needle is inserted, a small quantity of blood will be taken into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little pain when the needle goes in or out. This normally takes less than 5 minutes.
Are there any dangers to the test?
There is very little danger to having a blood test. You may feel mild pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, however most signs and symptoms go away quickly.
INTERPRETATIONS OF THE TEST
If your results indicate high level of AFP, it may validate a diagnosis of liver cancer, or cancer of the ovaries or testicles. Sometimes, high levels of AFP can be an indication of other cancers, which include Hodgkin disease and lymphoma, or noncancerous liver disorders.
If you are being treated for cancer, you may as well be tested a number of times through your treatment. After repeated tests, your results may show:
Your AFP levels are rising. This may imply your cancer is spreading, and/or your therapy is not working.
Your AFP levels are reducing. This may imply your treatment is working.
Your AFP levels have not risen or reduced. This can imply your disease is stable.
Your AFP levels reduced, but then later increased. This may imply your cancer has relapsed after you have been treated.
Is there any other thing I need to know about an AFP tumor marker test?
You may have heard of a different type of AFP test that is given to some pregnant women. Although it measures AFP levels in the blood however, this test is not used in the same way as an AFP tumor marker test. It is used to detect the risk of some birth defects and has nothing to do with cancer or liver disease.
The information provided herein is for patient general knowledge only and should not be used during any medical emergency, for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Duplication for personal and commercial use must be authorized in writing by Surjen.com.
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