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What is the CA 19.9 test?
CA 19.9 is an antigen produced by pancreatic cancer cells. The other famous names of this test are cancer antigen 19-9 and carbohydrate antigen 19-9.
This test measures the amount of cancer antigen 19-9 in the blood.
Raised levels of CA 19-9 are often a clue of pancreatic cancer while healthy people can have small amounts of CA 19-9 in the blood.
Because high levels of CA 19.9 can mean distinct things, the test alone is not used to screen for or diagnose cancer. It can help monitor the progress of cancer and the effectiveness of cancer treatment.
What is CA 19-9 test used for?
CA 19-9 test may be used to:
* See if cancer has returned after treatment
* Monitor pancreatic cancer and cancer treatment. CA 19-9 levels often increase as cancer spreads and go down as tumour shrinks.
This test is also used with other tests to help confirm cancer.
The need of CA 19-9 test?
An individual may need this test if he or she have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or other high levels of CA 19-9 cancers. Different types of cancer related to high levels of CA 19-9 include bile duct cancer, colon cancer and stomach cancer.
The doctor may suggest this test to check if the cancer treatment is working. An individual may also be tested after his or her treatment is completed to see if cancer has come back.
Other reasons that can cause an increased level of CA 19-9:
A high level of CA 19-9 is generally caused due to pancreatic cancer. But other cancers can also cause raised levels.
Non-cancerous things that can cause high levels of CA 19-9:
* Liver disease
* Biliary infection
How is the CA 19-9 test done?
An executive from Thyrocare will take the blood sample and then sent it to a lab for testing. This will usually take five minutes. The blood sample is measured using a radioimmunoassay, or RIA, test.
What do the CA 19-9 test results mean?
Rising CA 19-9 values mean the tumour is rising
A decline in CA 19-9 levels after treatment followed by a rise later may suggest that the tumour has come back or grown.
If the values stay unchanged, the disease may be stable.