Q. Would you recommend specific websites or organizations that can provide the latest information about biomarkers (and testing)?
Biomarkers (short for biological markers) are indicators in the body or tumor that can influence which treatments may be most effective for an individual and allow for personalized medicine. Understanding biomarkers can be challenging and complex. Getting access to accurate information is important. I would first encourage you to speak with your health care team to better understand which biomarker test is best for you based on the specific diagnosis. Here are some questions for your doctor to identify which biomarker testing is right for you and how that would influence your care:
- Is there a biomarker test for my type of cancer?
- How is this test administered?
- How will that test help in the diagnosis or treatment of my cancer?
- Can I get a copy of the pathology report and the results of biomarker tests?
- How accurate are these results?
- Should I get a second opinion on the pathology of my tumor and/or biomarker testing?
Your health care team could also recommend trusted websites or organizations specific to the diagnosis. There are many resources that provide the latest information on biomarkers. The specific website that would best provide information for you would depend on the type of cancer. For example:
- LUNGevity has specific information on lung cancer biomarkers
- Fight Colorectal Cancer has dedicated a portion of their website to educate patients on biomarkers pertaining to that diagnosis
- FORCE: Facing Hereditary Cancer EMPOWERED provides information about biomarkers and specific cancer types
- American Cancer Society reviews biomarkers and personalized medicine
Finally, CancerCare’s website provides options to educate patients and caregivers on different types of cancer biomarkers, including: