Biomarker testing is now one of the most accurate ways to test a patient, allowing for an earlier diagnosis and more personalised treatments to help target the illness. It also allows the doctors, the patient, and the patient’s loved ones to gain a deeper understanding of the patient’s illness so that they have clarity and peace of mind. If you or your loved one needs to be tested soon, here are five frequently asked questions about biomarker testing so that you know what to expect.

1. What is a Biomarker?

A biomarker is a measurable indicator of a cell or organism’s biological condition. It serves as an objective medical sign of a patient’s condition; this means that, unlike how a patient describes their symptoms for a doctor to figure out their condition, a biomarker can directly tell you everything about the patient’s condition, its progression, and how effective a particular treatment is. Biomarker testing usually involves getting a blood or tissue sample, but there are four types of biomarkers overall: molecular, histologic, radiographic, or physiological. A patient’s BMI and heart rate also count as biomarkers.

2. What are the Benefits of Biomarker Testing?

One of the most prominent benefits of biomarker testing is earlier and improved accuracy of diagnosis. The accuracy of the test can help doctors diagnose the condition and its progression quickly. Knowing exactly what type the patient is dealing with can help the doctor create a more personalised and effective treatment plan. The test can also identify patients who don’t have a specific disease but could be at high risk of getting it due to other factors. A doctor can help prevent this disease’s onset with a treatment plan.

3. What are Some Common Types of Biomarker Tests?

Many different biomarker tests exist, including genetic, protein, and cancer tests. Genetic testing can detect mutations or changes in a patient’s DNA associated with a particular disease. It can also see which conditions the patient has a high risk of getting, especially if the disease runs in their family. Protein tests can measure the levels of specific proteins in the blood, which can be used to monitor disease progression and response to treatment. Finally, cancer tests may involve getting tissue from a tumour to diagnose if it’s malignant or benign.

4. How Accurate are Biomarker Tests?

Biomarker tests are highly sensitive and specific, meaning they can accurately detect the presence or absence of a particular biomarker. However, certain conditions and circumstances can influence a biomarker’s results. For example, preexisting diseases or medication can affect biomarker testing.

5. Does Insurance Cover Biomarker Tests?

While some insurance plans cover biomarker testing, not all do. Biomarker tests used for the diagnosis or treatment of disease are usually covered by insurance, but tests that are purely for research purposes may not be. It’s best to check with your insurance provider to determine if your insurance plan will cover your test.

Are you in need of cancer testing services? Guardant Health AMEA offers biomarker, generic, and cancer tests to patients in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. To learn more about their tests and future events, visit Guardant Health AMEA’s website today.