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What is Cancer Antigen 19.9 test?

Cancer antigen (CA) 19.9 test is performed to monitor the treatment response of medications that are provided to treat pancreatic cancer. It also helps diagnose cancer and check for its recurrence.

CA 19.9 is a type of protein present on the surface of cancer cells and hence acts as a tumour marker (substances produced by cancerous or healthy cells as a response to cancer in the body) that can be detected in patients with pancreatic or other cancers.

Though this protein is also present in the blood of healthy people in small amounts, CA 19.9 levels are found to be high in about 70% to 95% of patients diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.

  1. Why is CA 19.9 test performed?
  2. How do you prepare for CA 19.9 test?
  3. How is CA 19.9 test performed?
  4. What do CA 19.9 test results indicate?

CA 19.9 test helps detect the following conditions:

This test also helps monitor the growth of cancer tumours and measure the extent of cancer spread in body. As it is not a specific test for diagnosing cancer, other tests, such as liver panel and bilirubin, might be performed along with CA 19.9 test to confirm the presence of cancer. Doctors generally recommend this test for patients who are undergoing cancer treatment or those who have just completed the treatment. Carbohydrate 19-9 and CA 19-9 are alternative names for CA 19.9 test.

There are no special preparations required for CA 19.9 test. Patients should inform their health care provider about their prescription medications before undergoing this test. To ensure accurate test results, individuals should ask the health care provider for any specific instructions to be followed before the test.

A blood sample is taken from a vein on the back of the hand or on the arm using a needle. Blood is collected in a small vial or container for testing. Occasionally, other body fluid samples are collected. No risks are associated with this test. However, one might experience slight pain when the needle is punctured in the vein.

Normal results: Normal levels of CA 19.9 indicate that the disease is in a stable stage.

Abnormal results: Low CA 9.9 levels might be observed in healthy people or in people diagnosed with conditions that affect the pancreas or liver.

Gradual reduction in CA 19.9 levels indicates a reduction in tumour size or good efficacy of cancer treatment.

Moderate to high levels of CA 19.9 indicate the presence of cancers and other diseases.

Highest levels of CA 19.9 indicate the presence of cancer in the exocrine pancreas, which accounts for 95% of pancreatic cancers. It might also indicate the presence of one or more of the following conditions:

  • Obstruction in the bile duct
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Swelling in the pancreas, which is noncancerous
  • Gallstones
  • Liver disease

If the CA 19.9 levels continue to remain high, it indicates recurrence of cancer or ineffectiveness of cancer treatment.

Disclaimer: All results must be clinically correlated with the patient’s complaints to make a complete and accurate diagnosis. This information is purely from an educational perspective and is in no way a substitute for medical advice from a qualified doctor.

CA 19.9 Test की जांच का लैब टेस्ट करवाएं

CA 19.9 Test (Pancreatic Cancer Marker, Serum)

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References

  1. National Cancer Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Tumor Markers
  2. American Cancer Society [internet]. Atlanta (GA), USA; Tests for Pancreatic Cancer
  3. Johns Hopkins Medicine [Internet]. The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System; Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis
  4. Lab Tests Online; American Association for Clinical Chemistry; Test Preparation: Your Role
  5. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Blood Tests
  6. Canadian Cancer Society [internet]. Carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9)
  7. University of Rochester Medical Center [Internet]. Rochester (NY): University of Rochester Medical Center; Lab Tests for Cancer