The tests should generally not be used as either screening or diagnostic tests for malignancy, as these markers may be elevated by non-malignant diseases. Also of note the below tumour markers may be elevated by a variety of malignancies.
They may be used to monitor histologically diagnosed patients with a malignancy that has been shown to produce the marker.
CA 125 is a marker used for serous carcinoma, especially carcinoma of the ovary, but elevations are also seen in peritoneal disease of any cause.
CA 19.9 is a marker used for gastrointestinal malignancy, especially carcinoma of the pancreas.
CA 15.3 is a marker used for breat malignancy.
Other tumour markers are available but generally have only limited utility in monitoring disease.
See also: Carcinoembryonic Ag,
Prostate specific antigen,
and Beta HCG quantitation.