Testicular Tumor Markers
The difficult part about identifying cancer early, is that in the beginning, it can develop without presenting any signs or symptoms. However, there are markers which can be detected to identify cancer. These markers are substances present in the body when cancer has developed. They can be found in the blood, body tissues, body fluids and urine. These substances may be genes, proteins or other substances. A blood or urine test is most commonly performed to look for tumor markers.
What are the Markers for Testicular Cancer?
This marker is the alpha-fetaprotein, which is found in higher concentration in some germ cell tumors. Sperms and cells are created by germ cells. Testicular tumors which are of the endodermal science and embryonic cell type, can be detected by elevated levels of this marker.
HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin and will be elevated in instances of most testicular cancers with germ cell tumors. When men exhibit an enlarged testicle, their HCG levels will be tested as a telling sign of cancer.
This marker stands for lactate dehydrogenase and is also a marker for germ cell tumors which are present with testicular cancer. These are found in a number of places within the body, and are not quite as effective as testing AFP or HCG. The reason for this is because the LDH blood level is increased in other situations such as liver or blood problems, so will not be a clear marker for cancer specifically.
Ask Your Doctor
When talking with your doctor about these cancer markers, here are some questions you may want to ask them:
- Have we measured any tumor markers, or is that part of my diagnosis plan?
- Are my tumor markers higher than average?
- Which of my tumor markers are higher than average?
- Do you foresee improvements to my tumor markers with treatment?
- How often should tumor markers be checked?
- What do my tumor markers mean for my illness?
By talking with your doctor about tumor markers for testicular cancer, you can identify early on the unseen progression of cancer within your body and take the proactive steps necessary for your health.