because not all tumours behave the same way, biomarkers can provide information about the molecular characteristics of a tumour creating a personalized approach to treating cancer. knowing your biomarker status can determine if targeted therapies are right for you and should be performed at diagnosis ideally.
biomarker testing may not be available or may not be right for you – ask your healthcare team when you are diagnosed and at progression to find out if biomarker testing is right for you.
not sure how to talk to your healthcare team about biomarker testing – here are some things you should ask
- is biomarker testing right for me
- what biomarkers are associated with my cancer?
- what could biomarker testing tell me about my cancer
- what are the benefits? risks?
- is testing covered by insurance?
- can i do biomarker testing if i already have a treatment plan?
- what happens if biomarker testing identifies a therapy that is not yet approved or reimbursed?
comprehensive biomarker testing should be an ongoing part of the discussions with your healthcare team. any decision to test for biomarkers should be made together by you and your team, and depends on a number of factors, including your type and stage of cancer, your current treatment plan, and your overall health.