CA-125 Blood Test Ovarian Cancer

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CA 125 is a marker for ovarian and endometrial carcinomas. It is also elevated in pancreatic, lung, breast, colorectal and other gastrointestinal tumours. In the detection of recurrent metastasis use of CA 125 correlated with disease progression or regression in 80 to 90% of cases.

CA 125 test measures the amount of the protein CA 125 (cancer antigen 125) in your blood. CA 125 test may be used to monitor certain cancers during and after treatment. In some cases, a CA 125 test may be used to look for early signs of ovarian cancer in people with a very high risk of the disease.

CA 125 test isn’t accurate enough to use for ovarian cancer screening in general because many noncancerous conditions can increase the CA 125 level.

Why its done?

Elevated CA 125 levels are seen in many patients with cancer of the ovary. The percentage of positive cases increases with stage of the cancer. This assay is useful for evaluating patient’s response to ovarian cancer therapy. It also helps in predicting recurrent ovarian cancer or intraperitoneal tumor.

If you have a strong family history of ovarian cancer or you have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, your doctor may recommend a CA 125 test as one way to screen for ovarian cancer.

Some doctors may recommend CA 125 blood testing combined with TVS ultrasound every six months for those at very high risk.

What is the normal Range of CA 125 test?


Clinical Use of CA 125 test

 An aid in the management of Ovarian cancer patients. Preoperative CA 125 level of < 65 U /mL is associated with a significantly greater 5 year survival rate.

 Monitor the course of disease in patients with Invasive epithelial ovarian cancer

 Detection of residual tumor in patients with Primary epithelial ovarian cancer who have undergone first line therapy. Persistent elevation of CA 125 levels after 3 cycles of therapy indicates a poor prognosis.

Stage I 50
Stage II 90
Stage III & IV >90

Increased Levels of CA 125

  • Primary epithelial ovarian carcinoma
  • Healthy individuals ( 1-2 %)
  • First trimester of pregnancy Follicular phase of menstrual cycle
  • Non malignant conditions – Cirrhosis, Hepatitis, Endometriosis, Ovarian cysts, Pelvic Inflammatory disease
  • Non Ovarian malignancies – Endometrial, Pancreatic, Lung, Breast, Colorectal & other Gastrointestinal tumors.

About Daya Shankar

I am Living in Delhi and I am a Medical Student.
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