Learn about what ovarian cancer is and how it’s treated.
Find out what biomarkers are and how they can help manage ovarian cancer.
A lot of research is being done to help diagnose and treat ovarian cancer. The future looks brighter through studies of biomarkers or tumor markers. Biomarkers are cells in the body often made by cancer cells. They may be found in the blood, body fluids and body tissues when someone has cancer. If you’re positive for a biomarker, it doesn’t mean you will get cancer. And you can still get cancer even if don’t have a biomarker.
Biomarkers may help to:
- See if you have or might get ovarian cancer
- Predict how the cancer may progress
- Predict how well the treatment may help you
- Find the best treatment(s) for your specific situation
Different cancers have different biomarkers. One example is the BRCA gene. A person with the Breast Cancer 1 (BRCA 1) or Breast Cancer 2 (BRCA 2) gene is at a higher risk for getting ovarian or breast cancer. Your health care team can keep an eye out for any signs of cancer and are more likely to diagnosis it earlier.
Another example is CA125. The body may make a lot of CA125 if you have ovarian cancer. So, high levels of CA125 is a sign of possible ovarian cancer.
Doctors also use biomarkers to monitor patients to see:
- If a treatment is working; levels will go down.
- When a patient is in remission; levels may be low or gone.
- If the cancer comes back; levels get higher.
Many biomarkers have already been discovered. And more are being found. Contact your health care team for more information on how biomarker testing can help identify ovarian cancer.