These substances are normally present in small amounts in the blood or other tissues. Cancer cells can sometimes make these substances. When the amount of these substances rises above normal, cancer might be present in the body. Examples of biomarkers include CA 125 (ovarian cancer), CA 15-3 and 27-29 (breast cancer), CEA (ovarian, lung, breast, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tract cancers), and PSA (prostate cancer).
For more information, visit Breastcancer.org's Blood Marker Tests page.
Audio contributed by: Marisa Weiss, M.D.