Why Get AFP testing in Pregnancy?

Spinal Cord Tumor Anatomic Drawing

Alphafetoprotein testing can detect also called "AFP" testing is offered to women who are approximately 15-20 weeks of pregnancy. It has most commonly been used to detect spinal and brain birth defects, such as spina bifida. Other diseases can be evaluated as well and AFP testing can help detect spinal cord tumors in the developing baby. Your ultrasound may pick this up as well if you don't have the AFP test. Tumors such as the one pictured in this very old anatomic drawing are very rare, and may possibly be treated.


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