A blood test for cancer antigen 125 (CA-125), a raised level may indicate ovarian cancer.
There is no national screening test for cancer of the ovary, although studies are currently being done on ultrasound and blood tests to see how good they are at detecting cancer ealy. This blood tests is raised in many cases of ovarian cancer and in some cases of endometrial cancer. It can also be raised in other conditions which are not cancerous, so care is needed in evaluating a positive result.
A very high level would be indicative of cancer where a slightly high level can be for may reasons.
This blood test can be raised in ovarian cancer, cancer of the womb (endometrium) and some other cancers (pancreas, stomach, colon, rectum, breast).
It is also useful in monitoring disease recurrence in people who have had treatment for cancer in the past.
In women who have a strong family history of ovarian or breast cancer, this test can be used regularly to try and help detect cancers in their earliest stages.
Ovarian and Endometrial Cancer is the fourth or fifth most common cause of cancer-related deaths among women worldwide. This test uses CA-125 - a tumour marker or biomarker - and is found in greater concentration in tumor cells than in other cells of the body, and greater still in ovarian cancer cells.
CA-125 is mostly used as a monitoring tool during treatment for ovarian cancer and to detect whether cancer has come back after treatment is complete. This check is also useful to test and monitor high-risk women who have a family history of ovarian cancer but who do not yet have the disease.
HE4 is a marker for earlier recognition of ovarian carcinoma, and is often combined with CA-125 to raise the sensitivity of detection.
The test also aims to establish the Risk of Ovarian Malignancy Algorithm (ROMA). This is a calculation combining the results of both CA-125 and HE4 to determine women as being at high or low risk for malignant disease.
If you have a strong family history of ovarian cancer and would like more information then please ask our doctor. This test can be reassuring if it comes back normal but is never definite that a small cancer is not present. A high level would mean that further tests might be advisable but does not man you defintiely have cancer.
If you have any new and persistent abdominal symptoms such as pain, bloating, changes in your periods or water works, then you should always discuss this with a doctor.
Cancer Antigen 125 (CA125) is a protein which is produced by cancer cells and which can be raised in cancers of the ovary, lung, breast, pancreas and gastrointestinal tract.
As CA125 is also produced by normal cells it is important to know your base level and monitor regularly so that any change can be picked up early.
A raised level is not necessarily a sign of cancer, just as a low level does not guarantee that cancer is not present. However, we recommend that all raised levels are investigated further.
We will send you your CA 125 (CA125) finger-prick blood and test sample collection kit which contains everything you need to take your blood and sample in the comfort of your own home. If you are unsure about completing a finger-prick blood sample collection you will have the opportunity to select a clinic-based venous blood sample option during the checkout process..
Your CA 125 (CA125) test includes 1st class postage and packaging for you to send your blood and sample directly to our laboratory for analysis. If you live in an area where you cannot rely on the post or you simply want to ensure that your sample arrives at the laboratory the following day, you may wish to send your blood and sample guaranteed next day delivery for extra reassurance.