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What is a CA 15.3 test?
Cancer antigen 15.3(CA 15-3) (a protein) that is produced by normal breast cells. In many people with cancerous breast tumours, there is an increased production of CA 15-3. This test measures CA 15.3 in the blood. CA 15-3 analysis values are frequently elevated in patients with breast cancer. Since CA 15.3 can be measured in the blood, it is usable as a tumor marker. CA 15.3 is not recommended as a screening test to detect breast cancer in women. It may also be elevated in healthy individuals and people with other cancers such as colon, lung, pancreas. The cancer antigen 15-3 test and the related tests are mainly used to monitor response to breast cancer treatment. They are used with other clinical evaluations and tests. CA 15.3 is sometimes suggested to provide a general sense of how much cancer may be present. CA 15.3 can only be used as a marker if the cancer is producing increased amounts of it.
When is CA-15.3 ordered?
CA 15.3 may be ordered along with other tests when advanced breast cancer is first diagnosed to help determine cancer components and treatment options.
This test may be ordered periodically to monitor the effectiveness of treatment and to help watch for recurrence.
What does the test result mean?
The higher level of CA 15-3 means the more advanced the breast cancer and the higher the amount of cancer present.
CA 15.3 concentrations tend to elevate as cancer grows.
The increasing level of CA-15.3 over time may indicate that a person is not responding to treatment.