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Definition
Tumor markers are substances that can be determined by analytical methods and have a causal connection probability or various cancers.
They are detected by analytical methods and used for the detection, diagnosis and prognosis of some malignancies.

The Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is a glycoprotein that is expressed in fetuses of seven to nine weeks pregnant women.

Doctor holding a bottle of blood sample

Normal values
Normal values in men and women pregnant should not be less than 15 ng / ml.

Utility alpha-fetoprotein
The determination of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is useful in the early diagnosis of liver cancer, detection of recurrence after surgery. It is also associated with testicular cancers terminal origin teratoblastoma, ovarian cancer (teratocarcinoma, choriocarcinoma, embryonal carcinoma) and early cancers of the digestive tract.

Levels are elevated in other benign diseases such as viral hepatitis, cholestasis, cirrhosis and Crohn’s disease. In pregnancy is determined to detect fetal distress, neural tube defects (anencephaly, myelomeningocele and spina bifida), with values of AFP elevated maternal serum and amniotic fluid, while the risk of Down syndrome is detected values AFP decreased.

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