Ca 19-9 Tumor Marker

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Update Date 12/05/2020
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Know the basics

What is CA 19-9 Tumor Marker?

CA 19-9 is a tumor marker used to diagnose and evaluate patient’s response with treatment, and monitor patients with pancreatic cancer or hepatobiliary. CA 19-9 is a carbohydrate antigen existing on surface of cancer cells. In pancreatic cancer diagnosis, presence of pancreatic or biliary obstruction and high CA 19-9 levels will conclude that you have pancreatic cancer instead of benign pancreatic tumor. Similarly, patients with symptoms of ascites, jaundice, and increased levels of CA 19-9 are suspected liver cancer. Around 70% of patients with pancreatic cancer and 65% of patients with hepatobiliary cancers have higher levels.

CA 19-9 levels are used in follow-up treatment of patients who have pancreatic or liver cancer. In the small number of patients with pancreatic or bile cancers have positive response in surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy. A reduction in serum of CA 19-9 confirms response to therapy. A rapid increase in CA 19-9 level may be related to growth rate of tumor recurrence or progression. High concentrations may exist in patients with gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, or liver and even 6% to 7% of patients with malignant tumors not in gastrointestinal tract. Patients with pancreas, gallstones, cirrhosis, bowel inflammatory, or cystic fibrosis may also lightly increase CA 19-9 level.

Why is CA 19-9 Tumor Marker performed?

CA 19-9 can be used along with other tests, such as carcinoma antigen germ (CEA), bilirubin and/or liver function tests, when a person has symptoms that suggested as pancreatic cancer. These symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, weight loss, and jaundice.

If CA 19-9 increases in the beginning of pancreatic cancer, then this test may be used several times during cancer treatment to monitor response and determine disease recurrence.

CA 19-9 can sometimes be used when doctor suspects cancer, liver and / or bile duct obstruction. Non-cancer causes of bile duct obstruction can cause highly increasing CA 19-9 level, and fast decrease when factors causing congestion is resolved. In this case, checking CA 19-9 after settle triggers of bile duct obstruction from 1 to 2 weeks is a great idea.

Things to know before

What should I know before receiving CA 19-9 Tumor Marker?

Because of sensitivity and low specificity, CA 19-9 is not sufficiently sensitive or specific to be used as a cancer screening test. This test is used primarily as an indicator of cancer (cancer marker).

Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer in early stage has few symptoms. When a person has symptoms and high CA 19-9, pancreatic cancer has often been in advanced stage.

It is important you understand the warnings and precautions before having this surgery. If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor for more information and instructions.

Know what happens

How to prepare for CA 19-9 Tumor Marker?

Your doctor will explain procedure to you before performing tests.

You do not need to fast before the test.

What happens during CA 19-9 Tumor Marker?

To implement the test, doctor will:

  • Bandage around arm to stop bleeding.
  • Disinfect the injection site with alcohol.
  • Inject needle into vein. They could inject more than 1 time if necessary.
  • Attach a hose to contain bleeding.
  • Remove the strips of tape around the arm after getting enough blood.
  • Put bandage or a cotton swab on the injection site.
  • Put urgo on the injection site

Blood may be sent to diagnostic laboratory centre to make decision on CA 19-9. The results may not be available in 7 to 10 days.

What happens after CA 19-9 Tumor Marker?

Use swab press on vein taking blood in about 5 minutes.

If you have any questions about the CA 19-9 tumor marker, please consult with your doctor to better understand your instructions.

Understand the results

What do my results mean?

Normal results

<37 units / ml or <37 kU / L (SI units).

Abnormal results

Increasing level may be due to:

  • Pancreatic cancer;
  • liver carcinoma;
  • Pancreatitis;
  • inflammation of the gallbladder;
  • Cirrhosis;
  • Stomach cancer;
  • Colorectal Cancer;
  • Gallstones;
  • Cystic fibrosis;
  • Lung cancer;
  • Inflammatory bowel disease;

Diagnosis from antibody testing should be combined with other tests and clinical examination. You should consult with a specialist or doctor before implementation and after test results to accurately diagnose.

Depending on the laboratory and hospital, the normal range for CA 19-9 tumor marker may vary. Please discuss with your doctor any questions you may have about your test results.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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