Eli5: How do tumor markers work?


If tumor markers are made by both healthy and cancerous tissue, how are they used to identify a tumor?

In: 2

Basically statistics. By themselves, tumour markers are not very useful because they can be produced by other things. But if you have a very specific set of conditions where the other things that can cause the tumour marker to show up are not happening and you really think that there’s a tumour, then the tumour marker is useful at giving you a good guess as to if there’s a tumour or not.