This test helps to find out the levels of Alpha-Fetoprotein in the blood.
Alpha-Fetoprotein is a protein produced by the liver of a developing baby (fetus) and developing an embryo. It is produced when liver cells are regenerating. It circulates through the fetal and maternal blood. AFP is still present in the individuals who are not pregnant. This is also found in the peoples who are suffering from certain cancer types such as hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer), testicular cancer, ovarian cancer. AFP is one of the several tumor markers.
This test is done to know whether an individual is having normal or abnormal levels of Alpha-Fetoprotein in the blood. The doctor may ask to perform this test if an individual is suffering from conditions like liver cancer, testicular cancer, ovarian cancer, chronic hepatitis, open neural tube defects etc. This test is also done to determine the risk of developing liver cancer and other types of cancer. If an individual is on the cancer treatment therapy, then the doctor may ask to perform this test to evaluate and to check the effectiveness of the treatment and AFP levels in the blood. This helps the doctor to rule out the patient disease condition. Mostly, this test is done along with other tests to confirm the diagnosis.
If you have been diagnosed with open neural tube defects or any type of cancer, your doctor may advise you to get this test done once in 3months or once in 3 years based on your clinical condition. If you are a healthy individual above the age of 35, your doctor may advise you to undergo this test either on a yearly basis or every other year.
Smoking and anti-cancer drugs may change the test results and hence you are advised to inform all your current medications to the doctor prior to the test.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your AFP. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for AFP.
There are no specific preparations required for this test.
The test results may be different depending on gender, age, health conditions, and other factors.
If you are non-pregnant and the test results are above the normal range then it may indicate that there may be a chance for liver cancer, testicle cancer, ovarian cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer, intestinal cancer, chronic cirrhosis, and hepatitis.
If you are non-pregnant and the test results are below than the normal range, it may indicate that the chances of getting cancer are low.
If you are pregnant and the test results are more than the normal range then it may indicate that there may be a chance for a defect in the fetus.
If you are pregnant and the test results are less than the normal range then it may indicate that there may be a chance for Down Syndrome, a miscalculated date etc.
If the test results are abnormal, consult your doctor immediately.
Based on the test results, your doctor may advise appropriate medical treatments, lifestyle modifications, or further diagnostic tests.
|FEMALE||All age groups||< 40 micrograms per litre when not pregnant|
|MALE||All age groups||< 40 micrograms per litre|