Pancreatic cancer is cancer that starts in the pancreas. The pancreas makes enzymes and hormones vital for promoting digestion and regulating blood sugar.
Specific biomarkers, called tumor markers, can be found in the blood of people with pancreatic cancer. These markers can not only help doctors diagnose pancreatic cancer, but they can also indicate whether a treatment is working.
In this article, we review common Pancreatic Cancer Tumor Markers along with their uses and their accuracy. We look at other methods used to diagnose cancer.
A tumor marker is something that is made by cancer cells or something that is produced by your body in response to cancer. Tumor markers can be other substances or genetic changes.
How tumor markers are used
The measurement of markers for cancer is used. These can include:
- Helping to diagnose a disease.
- Targeted therapy can be used for a cancer.
- If a cancer treatment is effective.
- estimating the outlook of a disease
- If cancer has come back or spread.
Common tumor markers for pancreatic cancer
There are a couple of tumor markers used for Pancreatic Cancer. These are the things.
- Cancer cells make a protein called CA19-9.
- carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), a protein that’s normally present in the body of a developing fetus, but can also indicate cancer in adults
Both of the two proteins may show up in the blood when there is a diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer. They can be used to help diagnose and see how well the treatments work.
A blood sample is collected from your arm to measure levels of CA19-9 and CEA. The table shows the typical and high ranges for both markers.
|Typical values||High values|
|CA19-9||0 to 37 units per milliliter||greater than 37 units per milliliter|
|CEA||less than or equal to 3 micrograms per liter (Smoking can increase this value to less than 5 micrograms per liter)||higher than 5 micrograms per liter|
Tumor markers can be useful for cancer, but they are not always accurate.
For example, some people with pancreatic cancer may not have elevated CA19-9 or CEA. Some
In other situations, another health condition may be causing elevated CA19-9 or CEA levels.
Additional tests are always needed because of these factors. These can include:
- The tests are called imaging.
- Other blood tests are done.
- There are biopsies.
Research into CA19-9 and CEA for pancreatic cancer
There are other tests that doctors can use to diagnose Pancreatic Cancer. These include:
Imaging tests help your doctor get a look inside of your body to find areas that may be cancerous. They may use many The tests are called imaging. for pancreatic cancer, including:
- CT scan. A CT scan uses X-rays to make cross-sectional images of your abdomen. A special type of CT scan called a multiphase CT scan is often used when pancreatic cancer is suspected.
- MRI scan. MRI scans use radio waves and strong magnets to make images of the inside of your body.
- PET scan. A PET scan uses a radioactive dye that localizes to cancer cells. A specific type of camera then detects concentrations of this dye in the body. PET scans can also be helpful to see if a cancer has spread.
- Ultrasound. An ultrasound utilizes sound waves to produce images. A type of ultrasound called an endoscopic ultrasound is typically more helpful than a standard ultrasound for diagnosing pancreatic cancer.
- Cholangiopancreatography. A cholangiopancreatography can look for tumors blocking pancreatic or bile ducts. They’re often done using an endoscope and X-rays.
In addition to blood tests for tumor markers, a doctor may order Other blood tests are done. if they suspect pancreatic cancer. These include:
- liver function tests to check how well your liver is working
- complete blood count to measure the levels of different kinds of blood cells
- blood chemistry panel to get an idea of how your kidneys are functioning as well as the levels of things like sugars, fats, and electrolytes in your blood
A biopsy involves the collection of a small tissue sample from the tumor site. This sample is analyzed in a lab to see if it contains cancer cells.
If cancer is found, other tests can be done to look for certain changes in the body. The presence or absence of these things can help to inform which type of treatment is recommended.
There are several risk factors for cancer.
- having a family history of pancreatic cancer
- having certain inherited genetic syndromes like:
- Peutz-Jeghers syndrome is a syndrome.
- inherited breast and ovarian cancer syndrome (mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes)
- Being older.
- Being assigned male at birth.
- being Black, although the exact reason for this increased risk remains unknown, research suggests it may be due to inequities in healthcare, along with environmental and socioeconomic factors.
- having certain health conditions, including:
Screening for high risk groups
The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) recommends that people at an increased risk due to a family history of pancreatic cancer or an inherited genetic syndrome consider screening for pancreatic cancer.
According to the AGA recommendations, the age to start screening depends on an individual’s situation. For example, it may begin as young as age 35 for people with Peutz-Jeghers syndrome is a syndrome. or at age 50 for people with a family history of pancreatic cancer.
Magnetic resonance image and endoscopic ultrasound are used for screening for Pancreatic Cancer. It is recommended that genetic testing be done as well.
Every 12 months is when the screening can take place. If a doctor finds suspicious areas around the pancreas, they may reduce the interval, making it more frequent.
Screening people with an average risk of cancer is not recommended.
What are the early symptoms of pancreatic cancer?
“Pancreatic cancer doesn’t usually cause symptoms. This is the reason why many Pancreatic Cancers are not found until they reach an advanced stage. When there is a diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer, symptoms may include:”
- There is abdominal pain.
- reduced appetite.
- It is possible to lose weight unintentionally.
- yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Dark urine.
- The stool is pale.
- itchy skin
- Nausea and vomiting.
- blood clots, which often happen in the legs
- enlarged liver or gallbladder
- new-onset There is a disease called diabetes. or worsening of existing There is a disease called diabetes.
What is the one test that can accurately diagnose pancreatic cancer?
The only way to diagnose Pancreatic Cancer is by analyzing a biopsied tissue sample, which is the only test that is helpful in the diagnostic process. A sample of the affected area can be examined for cancer cells.
How common is pancreatic cancer?
According to the
Is pancreatic cancer curable if caught early?
“It is difficult to detect Pancreatic Cancer early. Many people don’t have symptoms until cancer is advanced. Smaller tumors may not be easily detected by using a machine.”
The outlook for pancreatic cancer does improve when it’s found early. According to the
Cancer cells can make Tumor markers, which are markers of the disease. CA19-9 and CEA are markers used for Pancreatic Cancer.
While the results of blood tests for these biomarkers can provide a doctor with helpful information, further tests are always needed. These may include The tests are called imaging., additional blood tests, and biopsy.
People with a family history of Pancreatic Cancer can be screened for the disease. If either of these apply to you, you should talk to a doctor about how to start screening for Pancreatic Cancer.