What does the blood test for oncomarkers show: the price of the test, the types, decoding, is it worth taking?

It is possible to determine the presence of a benign and malignant tumor through a blood test. To do this, oncomarkers are identified. All of them have a different degree of sensitivity and reliability, so in most cases a combination of certain types of analyzes is prescribed.

The concept of

What are oncomarkers? Oncomarkers are a group of chemicals. They are formed by healthy and pathological cells of the body.

The number of these substances increases with oncological diseases.

They are excreted by the tumor itself, the tissues that are adjacent to it. There are about twenty markers that help to correctly identify the localization of cancer.

Depending on their structure, the substances are:

  • antigens,
  • blood plasma proteins,
  • tumor decomposition products,
  • enzymes formed during the metabolism.

They differ in their specificity, that is, different substances are evidence of the development of different types of tumor

What does the study show?

Some species identify oncol

ogy at the earliest stage of its formation. Others are advisable to use exclusively for monitoring. All markers are used to monitor the ongoing treatment, to find out how fast the healing process is going.

Most markers are not used for screening, so in most cases they are relevant for monitoring and for analyzing the effect of a prescribed treatment. The only accurate marker is PSA.It shows prostate cancer and can be used for a preliminary analysis of the condition of the organ.

Types of

Markers differ for different reasons. For example, the main one has high sensitivity and specificity. Secondary species are investigated simultaneously with the main ones. It can have a low sensitivity, but in combination with the main gives the most accurate result.

Additional oncomarkers are usually specific for a particular organ, used to determine relapses.

By origin, this substance is divided into:

  • oncofetal,
  • enzymes,
  • hormones,
  • receptors.

Most of the cancer indicators are of the first type. These structures are found in large concentrations in the tissues of the embryo, where they appear in dividing cells. They are important for the proper formation of a future child, in adults their number should be minimal.

The second most important enzyme. They are on those in which the biological function is clarified and on those where it is not established.

There are oncomarkers that allow you to determine the location of the tumor. These are:

These are:

CA 19-9, CA 125
Intestine CA 19-9
CA125, CA,
CA125, CA 19-9
Uterus CA 19-9, CA 125
Intestine CA 19-9, CA 125
Pancreas CA 19-9, CA 72-4
Liver AFP
Skin S 100
Bladder TPA, Cyfra 21-1
Prostate PSA

Some indicators can be increased, but for them to determine the exact locationcomplicated. For example, CEA, produced in the tissues of the embryo. In adults, it is produced in small amounts and is sensitive to most tumors.

What kind of cancer markers are given annually for the prevention of cancer?

What are the markers for cancer prevention? Markers help detect an oncology before the onset of symptoms. They go up about 6 months before the onset of metastasis.

An annual analysis is made for individuals at risk.

Men need to take PSA, which is a harbinger of prostate cancer. This is especially true for people over 40 years of age.

A high degree of sensitivity is possessed by CA 125. It testifies to testicular cancer in men and ovarian oncology in women. Slightly latent indicators may indicate a benign tumor.

The doctor can also send to HCG and alpha-fetoprotein. Other oncomarkers for routine screening are not used.

Gastrointestinal markers

Part of the substances identified in the course of laboratory studies indicate localization, while others determine the type of tumor. If there are problems with the gastrointestinal tract or an unfavorable family history, CA15-3 is prescribed.

There are some age groups in which the risk of cancer of the digestive system is higher. Mostly they are over 50 years old.

CA 72-4 and LASA-P( general), CYFRA 21-1( rectum), CA 125( sigmoid colon), AFP( rectum and sigmoid colon) are used to clarify the diagnosis.

Thyroid gland

For the detection of pathology, thyroglobulin is given. Its concentration can speak of both relapse and metastasis. It indicates that the cells of the thyroid gland are in the human body. Calcium is a medullar cancer. Its level depends on the size of the tumor and the stage of its development.


The AFP is used for diagnosis. At 50% it increases approximately three months before the first symptoms. To confirm the diagnosis, analyzes are performed on CA 15-3, Sa19-9, Ca242, Ca72-4.

However, high rates can also indicate cancer in other systems, so an accurate result is possible only after additional diagnosis.


Cyfra-21-1, NSE, CEA / CEA is being investigated for the detection of an ailment. The first reveals the presence of malignant cells in the epithelium.

Increased number is the reason for conducting studies on non-small cell lung cancer.

NSE is present in cells of the brain, nerve tissues. Elevated indices are noted with neuroblastoma or leukemia, and not only with lung cancer.


Oncomarkers of the thyroid gland If there is a suspicion of cancer, blood is deposited on the marker CA 242. Its amount can be increased in pancreatitis, cysts and other formations, so it surrenders simultaneously with the CA 19-9 marker.

The latter is excreted in the bronchi and digestive system. The oncologist can refer to the analysis of CA 72-4.It is produced by the cells of the epithelium.

Organ-specific recognized CA 50, which is a sialoglycoprotein. He has a high degree of sensitivity.


Tu M2-PK is a metabolic oncomarker that allows you to determine the aggressiveness of a tumor. Its difference from other similar cells is that the effect from it is not cumulative.

Therefore, with kidney cancer, it quickly and in sufficient quantity enters the blood. However, its high rates can speak of a tumor in the mammary gland or GI tract.

Blood is also given for determining the level of SCC.It is a glycoprotein, synthesized in cells of the flat epithelium of various organs. It changes the structure of normal cells through the membrane.

of the Bladder

The most revealing is UBC.It is a protein enzyme that enters the bloodstream. It is sensitive in 70% already in the early stages of the formation of cancer. To clarify the diagnosis, NMP22 is assigned.

Basically, the oncomarker is used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. The third marker of bladder cancer is TPS.However, it can be high when the tumor is localized in other areas. Especially high rates when metastases occur.

Lymph nodes

Formations in the lymphatic system lead to an increase in β2-microglobulin. It is a protein antigen that increases with a tumor of any origin. By its quantity, the stage of the process is determined.

of the Brain

For the diagnosis is taken blood for the determination of AFP, PSA, Ca 15-3, CYFRA-21,1.Specific oncomarkers do not exist. Therefore, studies are conducted in aggregate.

Some show that in the brain there are metastases from a tumor formed in another organ. For example, CA 15-3 is characteristic for oncology of the breast, but it can also indicate the appearance of cells in the brain.

On skin cancer

Melanoma is indicated by S-10 and TA-90.Their number may increase and in the presence of metastases. These analyzes are especially informative in conjunction with other studies.

For a long time, there was no marker indicating skin cancer. Therefore, a suspicion of disease arose when other species showed high results, and there were also small hardening or flaking patches on the skin.

Bone tissue

The most informative is TRAP 5b. It is an enzyme that is formed by osteoclasts. Biological substance can be contained in different amounts in the body of a man and a woman, therefore the decoding is carried out exclusively by an oncologist.


Throat markers To determine the cancer, the level of two tumor markers is examined. CYFRA 21-1 is a proteinaceous epithelium compound, manifested in high indices in many oncologies.

The second is SCC.It is recognized as an antigen of squamous cell carcinoma.

In the presence of oncology of the throat, the level of the latter increases more than 60%.But its indices also increase with some somatic diseases.


For accurate diagnosis, the concentration and ratio of various hormones in blood and urine are evaluated. In general, the analysis is performed on DEA-c.

The examination is supplemented by the delivery of the analysis on REA, CA 72-4, CA 242, Tu M2-RC.The latter refers to nonspecific indicators and is used to assess the presence of relapses.

NSE oncomarker

Neuron-specific enolase determines neuroendocrine tumors. Detects retinoblastoma, neuroblastoma, carcinoma of island pancreatic cells.

The test is performed on an empty stomach. The enzyme is detected in platelets, erythrocytes, plasma. Therefore, from the blood cells, the serum in the laboratory is separated as quickly as possible. The activity of these cells interacts with the clinical status, so the analysis is used to monitor and evaluate the prognosis.

s100 oncomarker

A marker for detecting skin cancer. It is a protein. It tracks cellular and extracellular reactions.

Elevated rates inform about malignant melanoma and other forms of cancer. Elevated rates may indicate other neoplastic ailments, systemic lupus erythematosus and others.


These include CA-125, produced by malignant cells in the ovary. In healthy women, there is antigen, but in small amounts.

In case of breast cancer, CA-15-3 is prescribed. This is a highly specific marker of breast carcinoma. He is not only in the oncology development zone, but also in normal breast epithelial cells. SCC shows cancer of the cervix, as well as respiratory, nasopharynx and ear.

Another female oncomarker is HE4, which is indicative of cancer in the ovary and endometrium.

ISA is an antigen that can detect malignant and benign breast diseases. Especially often used in monitoring treatment. HCG reveals ovarian carcinoma and placenta. In cancer of the uterus, there are no false positive results.


Men When testicular cancer is detected, hCG and AFP are increased. They are evidence of metastases and tumors in the liver.

Among the specific, the prostatic specific antigen is excreted. It is indicative of prostate cancer.

The free prostate antigen of PSA is also being investigated. Their concentration is compared. By results it is possible to define a malignant or benign lesion.

How to properly pass a blood test for markers?

Blood in almost all cases is given on an empty stomach, exclusively in the morning. For the indicators to be as true as possible, it is recommended that you do not consume alcoholic beverages for three days. Do not be at the same time in the diet to have fatty foods or overdo it with physical exertion.

Do not smoke and take medication on the day of the study. Many other oncological markers are influenced by other factors, for example, somatic diseases. Therefore, before giving it is better to see the doctor.

How much analysis is done?

Most oncomarkers are determined in 1-2 days. More accurate information can be obtained in the laboratory, where the analysis is submitted.

If the result is to be obtained urgently, the interpretation can be given to the doctor literally on the day of the study. If the laboratory is not in a medical institution where a person is observed, the result will have to wait several days, sometimes about a week.

Table with the decoding of oncomarkers depending on the location

Oncomarkers Normal indices
REA Up to 3 ng / m
AFP Up to 15 ng / ml
CA 19-9 Up to 37 units / ml
Ca 72-4 Up to 4 units/ mL
CA 15-3 Up to 28 units / mL
CA 125 Up to 34 units / mL
SCC Up to 2, 5 ng / mL
NSE Up to 12.5 ng / mL
CYFRA 21-1 Up to 3, 3 ng / ml
hCG 0-5 IU / mL
PSA Up to 2.5 ng / ml in men under 40 and up to 4 ng / ml in men older than

When are the indices raised?

When are markers raised? Oncomarkers are not always elevated when malignant cells appear in the body. Often, their number is affected by somatic diseases, inflammatory processes, acute respiratory infections.

Because of this sensitivity, most antigens are examined not for cancer detection, but for monitoring the condition and for studying the effect of treatment.

Oncomarkers detect benign or malignant tumors.

In the first case, the number of cells is too high. With cancer, a blood test can show values ​​that are 10 or more times higher than normal. Doctors note that the higher the numbers, the more likely that the metastasis process has begun.

Reviews about the test

Reviews about the analysis vary. Some markers show false positive and false negative results. In the first case, the result is negative emotions. Therefore, before you start to panic, show data about the research to an oncologist.

There is an opinion that oncomarkers are informative only in the presence of a tumor. In healthy people, inflated indices do not say anything. This opinion is partly true, but there are cells that can detect cancer even before the first symptoms of its appearance.

Oncologists recall that if the rates go up once - it's worth a few days( usually after 10) to retake the test.

A one-time increase in results does not say anything. If, on resubmission, the data remains at a high level, the oncologist will assign additional methods of investigation.

How much is the research?

Blood counts are submitted to oncomarkers. Often the cost is low, and in municipal polyclinics and hospitals it can be rented free of charge, according to the policy.

The cost is affected by the equipment and reagents necessary for decryption. Affects and which cells should be analyzed.

Where can I go?

It has already been noted that research on oncomarkers is being given in private or municipal clinics. Only a doctor can prescribe a specific analysis. Therefore, even before visiting a paid laboratory, you need to visit it.

In municipal clinics and oncology dispensaries, the results may vary. Everything depends on the equipment used. Therefore, experts recommend always taking the analysis in the same place.

What is cancer markers, and how they help to identify a malignant tumor, the following video will tell about it:

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