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Methods Mol Biol. 2009;472:307-21. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60327-492-0_13.

Breast cancer screening and biomarkers.

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Division of Surgical Oncology, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Annual screening mammograms have been shown to be cost-effective and are credited for the decline in mortality of breast cancer. New technologies including breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may further improve early breast cancer detection in asymptomatic women. Serum tumor markers such as CA 15-3, carcinoembyonic antigen (CEA), and CA 27-29 are ordered in the clinic mainly for disease surveillance, and not useful for detection of localized cancer. This review will discuss blood-based markers and breast-based markers, such as nipple/ductal fluid, with an emphasis on biomarkers for early detection of breast cancer. In the future, it is likely that a combination approach to simultaneously measure multiple markers would be most successful in detecting early breast cancer. Ideally, such a biomarker panel should be able to detect breast cancer in asymptomatic patients, even in the setting of normal mammogram and physical examination results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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