What is Alpha Feto Protein, Tumour Marker?
An Alpha Feto Protein (AFP), Tumor marker is used to measure the levels of AFP in blood. Tumor markers help detect and diagnose cancers of the liver, testicles, and ovaries. These substances are made by cancer cells or by normal cells in response to cancer in the body. AFP is a protein made in the liver of a developing baby. The levels of AFP decline with age and adults should ideally have very low level of AFP.
Elevated levels in adults may sometimes indicate cancers of stomach, colon, lung, and breast. If AFP levels do not significantly decrease after cancer treatment, this may indicate presence of some of the tumor tissue. If the levels begin to increase after cancer treatment, then it is likely that the cancer may be recurring.
Why is Alpha Feto Protein, Tumour Marker done?
The alpha-fetoprotein tumor marker is done:
In case cancers of the liver, testicles, or ovaries are suspected
At intervals during and after treatment for any of these cancers
In the case of cancer-predisposing diseases such as chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis
To monitor the patients for cancer recurrence
What does Alpha Feto Protein, Tumour Marker Measure?
The alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), tumour marker test measures the levels of AFP in the blood. AFP is a protein which is produced mainly by the liver in a fetus (developing baby) and the portion of a developing embryo. The levels of AFP are elevated at the time of the baby’s birth and then the levels decline.
In case of liver damage and certain cancers, the AFP concentrations are raised.
The production of AFP occurs at the time of regeneration of liver cells. In case of chronic liver diseases, such as cirrhosis and hepatitis, AFP may be raised chronically. Certain tumors produce very high concentrations of AFP. Thus, AFP test is a useful tumor marker test.
Increased levels of AFP can be seen in hepatocellular carcinoma (type of liver cancer), hepatoblastoma (liver cancer occurring in infants), cancer of the testicles or ovaries.
Interpreting Alpha Feto Protein, Tumour Marker results
AFP (Alpha-fetoprotein), Tumor marker, Serum < 10.00 ng/mL
Reference range may vary from lab to lab*
Healths First, Lal Pathlab, Medcis Pathlab
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