As Americans of the baby boomer generation approach retirement, a distinct shift in how healthcare is provided is being shaped by the generation. Preventative care is the normal and cancer screening testing is at the core of this preventative health care shift. Based on the sheer numbers of baby boomers along with their higher level of education, the health care industry now has been forced to provide better screening mechanisms for the evil disease we know as cancer. Cancer markers are what we speak of when we discuss how to target specific cancers.
Many of these cancer markers discriminate between men and women. The most common cancer marker for men is targeting the prostate. The cancer marker prostate specific antigen is well known among men over the age of 40 and can be referred to in short as PSA. It is recommended to have this PSA lab test performed at least once a year for men over the age of forty. This cancer marker has been well recognized by the medical community as the proper screening mechanism which is now a gold standard in cancer marker testing for prostate cancer. Along with a physical exam, the PSA cancer marker test is the standard protocol for routine health checkups for men over the age of forty or men approaching this age that exhibit symptoms.
With women, the Cancer marker antigen 27.29 and the CA15-3 test are available which is provided for breast cancer patients. The antigen CA 27.29 is found in women who have breast cancer or are suspected in having breast cancer. The CA15-3 cancer marker helps healthcare providers monitor treatments for breast cancer. A women’s cancer marker profile may include the following cancer markers tests; CA-125 (Cancer Antigen), CA-19-9 (Carbohydrate Antigen), CA-27.29(Cancer Antigen), and CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen). A men’s cancer marker profile may consist of Prostate Specific Antigen Cancer Screen (PSA), CA-19-9 (Carbohydrate Antigen) cancer screen and the CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen). These three cancer markers target the prostate and pancreas which are known as major causes of cancer in aging men over the age of fifty.
Traditionally patients would have to visit their primary care physician and than in many cases be referred to a specials in order to get some of these basic cancer marker tests ordered. This has all changed over the past 10 years. Many of these highly educated patients can get their cancer marker testing performed through online lab testing services that partner with national reference labs. Using these web based lab testing sources saves time and is more affordable for many patients. Cancer marker testing is included in the test directory menus with many of these sites. If you do not have weeks to wait and see your specialist, you can take advantage of online lab testing services and get your cancer marker testing performed as soon as possible.