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Cancer Antigen 125 Test

The CA 125 (Cancer Antigen 125) test is a blood test that measures the level of CA 125 protein in your blood. CA 125 is a protein that may be found on the surface of ovarian cancer cells and in the bloodstream. Elevated levels of CA 125 can be associated with ovarian cancer, as well as several other conditions.

  • Test Name Cancer Antigen 125 Test
  • Sample Type Blood
  • Preparations Required No specific preparations or dietary restrictions are necessary before this test.
  • Report Time 4 hours

It's important to note that the CA 125 test is not a definitive diagnostic tool for ovarian cancer, as levels can also increase due to menstruation, pregnancy, endometriosis, and certain benign conditions. However, it can be useful as part of an overall diagnostic process and for monitoring response to ovarian cancer treatment.

Home Sample Collection Process

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Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Reporting of the sample at lab
Reporting of the sample at lab
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Frequently Asked Questions

The CA 125 test is important because it can help in detecting ovarian cancer at an earlier stage when treatment is likely to be more effective. It is also used to monitor treatment response in women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

No, you do not need to fast before taking the CA 125 test.

No specific preparations are necessary before the CA 125 test.

Your doctor may order a CA 125 test if you have symptoms that could indicate ovarian cancer, such as persistent bloating, pain in your abdomen or pelvis, difficulty eating, or feeling full quickly. Women with a high risk of ovarian cancer due to family history or genetic mutations may also undergo this test.

The CA 125 test measures the amount of CA 125 protein in your blood. High levels can be a sign of ovarian cancer or other conditions.

The frequency of the CA 125 test depends on why it is being done. If it's used for monitoring treatment response in ovarian cancer, your doctor will decide the schedule based on your condition and treatment plan. For those at a high risk of ovarian cancer, your doctor will provide recommendations.

The normal value for CA 125 is usually less than 35 units/mL, but this can vary among different labs. Always consult your doctor or refer to your test report for your specific reference range.

No specific precautions are necessary before or after the CA 125 test. The test involves a standard blood draw, which is generally a safe procedure.

Your CA 125 levels can be influenced by ovarian cancer, menstruation, pregnancy, endometriosis, and certain benign conditions. Medications do not typically affect CA 125 levels.

If your CA 125 levels are high, you should consult a gynecologist or an oncologist. They will guide you through the possible next steps, which may include additional tests or procedures.

High levels of CA 125 could suggest ovarian cancer, but other conditions like endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, or liver disease can also cause high levels. Pregnancy and menstruation can also raise CA 125 levels.

A normal CA 125 level is usually less than 35 units/mL. However, a normal result does not guarantee the absence of cancer, and an elevated result does not always mean cancer is present.

Generally, medications do not affect CA 125 levels. However, you should always inform your doctor about any medications or supplements you're taking.

The risks associated with a CA 125 test are minimal and are those associated with a typical blood draw. These can include slight pain, bleeding or bruising at the puncture site, and, in rare cases, infection.

Abnormal CA 125 levels are not treated in themselves, but they may indicate the need for further testing or treatment of an underlying condition. If ovarian cancer is diagnosed, treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of these.

The CA 125 test and its role in diagnosing and managing ovarian cancer can provide valuable insights and better equip you to discuss your health with your doctor. Remember, while an elevated CA 125 level can be concerning, it doesn't always signify cancer. Always consult with your doctor to understand your results in the context of your overall health and symptoms.

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