Tumor markers are substances, mostly proteins, that are produced by the body or by the tumor itself in response to cancer. These substances may be detected in elevated quantities in the blood, body tissue or urine of affected individuals. If the concentration of the markers is elevated then there is a need to monitor the patient for malignancies.
An ideal tumor marker for a cancer should be specific to that cancer and not generate false positive results. Research is still underway to identify specific markers for different types of cancers.
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