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CA 125 Blood Test in Pune


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

Because high CA-125 levels can be a sign of other conditions besides ovarian cancer, this test is not used to screen women at low risk for the disease. A CA-125 blood test is most often done on women already diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It can help find out if cancer treatment is working, or if your cancer has come back after you have finished treatment.

Other names: cancer antigen 125, glycoprotein antigen, ovarian cancer antigen, CA-125 tumor marker

What is it used for?

A CA-125 blood test may be used to:

  • Monitor treatment for ovarian cancer. If CA-125 levels go down, it usually means the treatment is working.
  • Check to see if cancer has come back after successful treatment.
  • Screen women who are at high risk for ovarian cancer.

What happens during a CA-125 blood test?

A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

What do the results mean?

If you are being treated for ovarian cancer, you may be tested several times throughout your treatment. If testing shows your CA-125 levels have gone down, it usually means the cancer is responding to treatment. If your levels go up or stay the same, it may mean the cancer is not responding to treatment.

If you have finished your treatment for ovarian cancer, high CA-125 levels may mean your cancer has come back.

If you are not being treated for ovarian cancer and your results show high CA-125 levels, it can be a sign of cancer. But it may also be a sign of a noncancerous condition, such as:

  • Endometriosis, a condition in which tissue that normally grows inside the uterus also grows outside the uterus. It can be very painful. It may also make it harder to get pregnant.
  • Uterine fibroids, noncancerous growths in the uterus
  • Liver disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Menstruation, at certain times during your cycle

If you are not being treated for ovarian cancer, and your results show high CA-125 levels, your health care provider will probably order more tests to help make a diagnosis. Talk to your health care provider if you have questions about your results.

If your health care provider thinks you may have ovarian cancer, he or she may refer you to a gynecologic oncologist, a doctor who specializes in treating cancers of the female reproductive system.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why do I need a CA-125 blood test?

You may need a CA-125 blood test if you are currently being treated for ovarian cancer. Your health care provider may test you at regular intervals to see if your treatment is working, and after your treatment is finished.

You may also need this test if you have certain risk factors for ovarian cancer. You may be at a higher risk if you:

  • Have inherited a gene that puts you at higher risk of ovarian cancer. These genes are known as BRCA 1 and BRCA 2.
  • Have a family member with ovarian cancer.
  • Previously had cancer in the uterus, breast, or colon.

Q. Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don’t need any special preparations for a CA-125 blood test.

Q. Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

Q. Is there anything else I need to know about a CA-125 blood test?

A test for a tumor marker called HE4 may be done along with a CA-125 blood test. An HE4 test is most often used to monitor women who have been treated for a common type of ovarian cancer called epithelial ovarian cancer. Some studies show that HE4 may be more accurate than CA-125 in predicting whether this type of cancer will come back.

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