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What Is Ca 125 Test And Why Do You Need One?

What is CA 125 Test?

The CA-125 test is also known as a cancer antigen 125 test. It is a blood test that quantifies the body’s levels of the CA-125 protein. CA-125 is a form of a biomarker or a chemical in your blood that could be a disease symptom. A CA-125 test is usually available in most cities in India. The CA-125 test price varies from one city to another.

What is the CA-125 test used for?

Your ovaries are two reproductive organs that make hormones and store and release eggs. A high CA-125 level may indicate ovarian cancer. But this test cannot be assumed to be foolproof. Both false positive and false negative results are possible with a CA-125 test.

CA-125 levels may be increased in the absence of cancer or may be normal in the presence of cancer. This possibility makes a CA-125 test ineffective for ovarian cancer screening. Instead, doctors may ask for a CA-125 blood test as part of an overall plan to monitor cancer types. This is particularly done during and after cancer therapy.

Healthcare professionals also use this test to identify high-risk patients who have ovarian cancer early. It may include elements like having ovarian cancer in your direct family or being identified as having a genetic mutation. For those with no symptoms or risk factors, a CA-125 test is not advisable.

When should the CA-125 test be performed?

The CA-125 blood test should be conducted when there is a need to achieve any of the following purposes:

  • To detect cancer treatment.  

Your doctor can advise a CA-125 test frequently. If you have ovarian, endometrial, peritoneal, or fallopian tube cancer, it is essential to keep track of your health and therapy. However, it hasn’t been demonstrated that continuous monitoring helps people with ovarian cancer recover, and it could result in further rounds of chemotherapy or other therapies.

  • To get screened for ovarian cancer, if you are high-risk.

Doctors can suggest a CA-25 test to screen for this disease if you have a history of ovarian cancer. This is also true if you carry a gene that enhances your chance of developing the disease. For patients at high risk, doctors may advise CA-125 testing in combination with transvaginal ultrasound every 6-12 months. However, a higher CA-125 level may not always be seen in ovarian cancer patients. Moreover, there is no proof that this screening lowers the risk of ovarian cancer death.

  • To look for a cancer recurrence.

Increased CA 125 levels could indicate that ovarian cancer has returned following treatment and therapy. Regular CA-125 monitoring is often followed but has not been proven to enhance outcomes for patients.

What types of cancers does CA-125 find?

Certain individuals may undergo the CA-125 test for ovarian cancer diagnosis, therapy, and follow-up. Moreover, it is used to treat peritoneal or fallopian tube cancer.

What do the CA-125 blood test results mean?

The significance of your test results should be discussed by your healthcare professional. Further testing is required to diagnose cancer, even if the test results indicate high CA-125 levels. A single test’s result is rarely useful on its own. To track changes in levels, your doctor will order a series of CA-125 tests from you. A high CA-125 level may indicate that your ovarian cancer has returned or advanced. A lower result could mean the medicine is having an effect.

The amount of cancer in your body is not correlated with your CA-125 readings. More testing is required to determine the severity of your disease.

When is a blood test for CA-125 needed?

If a doctor believes ovarian cancer may be the cause of a patient’s symptoms. In this condition, a CA-125 blood test is performed. This test is typically asked to be carried out if a woman shows any of the signs of ovarian cancer, which are:

  • Ongoing stomach discomfort
  • Ongoing bloating
  • Increased or urgent need to urinate
  • Eating slowly or having trouble feeling satisfied

When the symptoms mentioned above emerge, and they are found to be without clear reason, then following a physical abdominal or internal vaginal examination, a doctor is likely to recommend a CA-125 blood test.

What is the CA-125 test’s price in comparison to other tests?

Popular hospitals and labs perform the CA-125 test. The CA-125 test price is less compared to other tests. Private laboratories put a lot of effort into giving their clients the most accurate and relevant data. The CA-125 blood test prices offered by leading pathology specialists like Metropolis are consistently among the lowest. Also, their experts are available 24/7 to respond to your queries.

Conclusion

Medical professionals use the CA-125 test to evaluate the effectiveness of cancer treatment. It is used to check for cancer in high-risk patients. People without any risk factors or symptoms of ovarian cancer shouldn’t use it. 

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