What are cancer biomarkers?

Marc B. Garnick, MD
Hematology & Oncology
Biological markers known as biomarkers are molecules or defining characteristics that can be measured and tracked to assess a biological state. Biomarkers can be present in blood, tissue, urine, mucus, or saliva. They can also be found in genes, in the proteins expressed by genes, and in molecules. Ideally, cancer biomarkers are specific to the type of cancer being assessed and can be measured in quantities sufficient to allow for detection earlier than with existing tests.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.