CA 125 Blood Test

The CA 125 Blood Test; A Good Indicator Of Ovarian Cancer

The Cancer Antigen 125 (CA 125) blood test is currently the best indicator that a female can undergo to determine the existence of cancer within the ovaries. It is commonly used by women that have a family history of ovarian cancer or have repeated suspicious annual exams, such as the Pap Smear.  The CA 125 blood test is often used by oncologists to monitor patients for response to cancer treatment and possible recurrence.

CA 125 is a protein normally produced by the fallopian tubes and the parietal peritoneum.  CA 125 is also released into the blood stream by ovarian cancer cells.  CA 125 levels are elevated in about 80% of ovarian cancer cases. However, CA 125 levels may also be elevated due to pregnancy, menstruation, endometriosis, benign ovarian cysts, and pelvic inflammatory disease.

Why Use The CA125 Blood Test

Identified in the late 1980’s the CA125 is often referred to as the “tumor maker” because of its prevalence in tumor cells. The blood test is used to screen for the levels and when present in abnormal ranges, signifies the need for further blood testing or medical screenings. Though the test can be used for large scale screening, normal ranges differ between post menopausal and premenopausal women. The levels of this blood testing are slightly elevated for post menopausal women. The normal range of the CA125 is between 0 and 35mL. The levels are also commonly elevated in those suffering from Endometriosis, Ovarian Disease and pregnancy.

The Importance Of The CA125 Blood Tests

Though the blood test has its potential for false positives it is an important one for women of all ages. Ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose and is generally found too late to treat effectively. By using the CA125 blood test the levels can be monitored and help determine whether more invasive testing is necessary.