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Biologic markers


The “gold standard” for a diagnosis of cancer is a histopathological examination by a pathologist on biopsied tumor tissue. Unfortunately this is not always done and the diagnosis is made from clinical findings or less. Cancer can be mimicked by many other diseases. Moreover, cancer statistics depend on the accuracy of death certificates, where cancer may not be properly noted as the cause of death.
Biologic markers are playing an increasingly important role in cancer management. Most of these markers are not unique for cancer cells, but are shared also by normal cells and may also be overexpressed in benign conditions. Thus markers cannot be used to screen populations to detect cancer.