Serum cancer antigen CA 125 measurement is used to evaluate patients' response to ovarian cancer treatment as well as a prognostic marker for possible recurrence of ovarian cancer.
Cancer markers are substances produced by cells of the body in response to the presence of tumors. Cancer antigen 125 (CA 125) is a glycoprotein that is normally present in tissues deriving from the coelomic epithelium (ovaries, fallopian tubes, peritoneum, pleura, pericardium, colon, kidneys, stomach). Normally, it is not detected in the bloodstream except when there is a destruction of these tissues, such as in endometrial or ovarian cancer.
The cancer antigen 125 measurement is used to monitor response to treatment for ovarian cancer and to detect cancer recurrences. It is also sometimes used to monitor high-risk women who have a family history of ovarian cancer but have not yet developed the disease. Patients at high risk for ovarian cancer include patients with reduced fertility and delayed childbearing, with the incidence of cancer increasing with age. The strongest predictor of ovarian cancer is family history.
Elevated serum levels of CA 125 are reported in patients with various malignancies other than ovaries, such as cervix, liver, pancreas, lung, colon, stomach, gallbladder, uterus, fallopian tube, breast, and endometrial carcinomas.
Elevated serum CA 125 levels are also reported in patients with a variety of benign conditions such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, endometriosis, first-trimester pregnancy, ovarian cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease, and during menstruation.
Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
- Increase: Acute pancreatitis, breast cancer, cirrhosis, colon neoplasm, endometrial cancer, endometriosis, fallopian tube cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, menstruation, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, peritonitis, pregnancy, uterine cancer.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.