Are labs in the Philippines that claim to detect cancer by testing for HCG in urine legitimate?
Testing for HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in the urine is indicated when there is a suspicion of certain cancers. HCG is normally produced by the placenta and forms the basis for the most widely used pregnancy test. But it can also be a “marker” for certain cancers. Markers in general are proteins that are found in the blood or urine if certain types of cancers are present and can be detected by adding specific antibodies that react with the proteins in question. An example would be a rare form of cancer associated with the placenta called gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN) which would be suspected if the uterus continues to enlarge even after a baby has been delivered. Some testicular and ovarian tumours also produce HCG as do some chest tumours in men. But HCG can also be elevated when no cancer is present. General screening for HCG is not a recommended procedure because there are too many variables in interpreting the results. It is a test that should be done upon the advice of a physician and should be performed by an accredited lab not some unknown operation in the Philippines.