This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnosis, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Abnormal test values falling outside the Normal Range will be printed in bold and noted in the “Flag” column. Abnormal values should be reviewed by your primary physician and a copy of all testing should be included in your medical record for future reference and comparison.
The CA-125 blood test is used to measure the level of CA-125, a protein that is often secreted into the blood by ovarian cells and inflamed normal cells that line body parts. CA-125 levels can provide important insight into the growth of ovarian cancer cells within your body since elevated levels of CA-125 are often in higher-than-normal amounts in the blood of women with ovarian cancer. Overall, more than 80 percent of women with advanced ovarian cancer will have an elevated CA-125 level, yet the test is not as useful in detecting early stage disease (approximately 50% accurate). The rate at which CA-125 levels change is often a surrogate (indirect) measurement of the level of cancer growth and inflammation in your body.
The CA-125 blood test is best used for observing the trend of an ovarian-cancer patient’s results over time. Most gynecologic oncologists employ CA-125 for surveillance of ovarian cancer after the diagnosis has been surgically confirmed since it is a sensitive indicator of persistent or recurrent disease.
When a CA-125 returns elevated, it can mean any of several benign conditions (pregnancy, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, liver disease, and benign ovarian cysts), or a “false positive” (especially in premenopausal women), or ovarian cancer or another type of cancer. All elevated CA-125 levels should be followed up with a licensed physician.