CA 125 or the Cancer Antigen 125 is a protein present in ovarian cancer cells. The CA125 test is done to determine the amount of cancer antigen 125 in the bloodstream. This protein is made by the cells and found in the blood.
The ELISA Kits are mainly used to monitor the progress of ovarian cancer during and after the treatment.
Gynecologists may also advise this test to identify the early warning signs of ovarian cancer, if you are at higher risk of developing this condition — someone in your blood relation has or had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
However, CA 125 is not the only method to screen ovarian tumors, as there are a myriad of health conditions contributing to increased CA 125 protein amount in the blood.
Why do I need to Undergo CA 125 Test?
A CA 125 is prescribed by the doctor to understand the progression of the ovarian tumor. The CA 125 levels are measured before the start, during, and after the treatment.
A drop in CA 125 levels during the treatment indicates that you are making great progress. On the flip side, an increase in the levels of CA 125 post the treatment suggests that the disease has recurred.
After the treatment of ovarian cancer, doctors advise their patients to undergo the CA 125 test from a certified medical lab offering affordable lab tests without doctors for several years to make sure that the treatment was done successfully and there is no risk of resurgence.
Typically, the patient needs to take this test once every two months after their ovarian treatment. After that, the test is advised every three months for next year, and then once a year.
Some doctors even recommend people with a family history of the ovarian tumor to take the CA 125 test. Apart from ovarian cancer, several other factors contribute to the increased CA 125 levels in the blood, as follows:
- Normal Menstruation
- Pelvic inflammatory Disease
- Pancreas Cancer
- Endometrial & Fallopian Tube Cancers
How CA 125 Test Is Performed?
The procedure of CA 125 involves taking blood from the patient’s vein. Here is the step-by-step process:-
Step 1: In this step, a professional health care provider will clean & disinfect the area from where the blood has to be drawn using an antiseptic.
Step 2: They’ll now wrap an elastic band around the upper arm so that the veins swell with blood and can quickly be drawn.
Step 3: Once the vein has been discovered. The health care professional will push the needle into the vein. The blood is collected via the small tube attached to the needle.
Step 4: Once the blood has been drawn, the professional will remove the needle and then punch the hole to stop the bleeding.
Step 5: The blood sample taken will be sent to the laboratory for a thorough analysis of the levels of CA 125 in the blood.
Step 6: Once the lab test results have arrived, your doctor will schedule a consultation with you.
At the end, we need to know that every year, so many women diagnosed with ovarian tumors are found to have the baseline level of CA 125 in their blood, as their tumor isn’t producing the CA 125 protein.
So, you need to undergo multiple tests to medically prove there is a tumor in your ovary.