Skip to content

Ovarian Cancer Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Cancer Antigen 125 (CA-125)

What Affects the Test

Results of a cancer antigen 125 test can be affected by:

  • Medicines used to treat cancer.
  • A recent radioactive scan, such as a bone scan.
  • Abdominal surgery. The CA-125 test should be done at least 3 weeks after surgery.

What To Think About

  • The cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) test cannot tell the difference between a cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign) ovarian lump.
  • The test for CA-125 may also be done on body fluids (other than blood) taken from the chest or stomach area.
  • High values of CA-125 in a woman who has been treated for ovarian cancer may mean that the cancer has returned. Often the high CA-125 level is found many months before the return of cancer can be found in another way.
  • Studies are being done to see if CA-125 can be used as a screening test for ovarian cancer. So far, there is not enough proof to show that this test works to find ovarian cancer early.

Citations

  1. Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

  • Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Current as of May 29, 2013
1 | 2 | 3

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 29, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

Ovarian cancer illustration
What are the symptoms?
doctory with x-ray
Get to know the Symptoms.
 
cancer cell
HPV is the top cause. Find out more.
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
 
Integrative Medicine Cancer Quiz
QUIZ
Lifestyle Tips for Depression Slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
Screening Tests for Women
Slideshow
Graphic of ovaries within reproductive system
VIDEO
 
Ovarian Cancer Marker
VIDEO
Pets Improve Your Health
SLIDESHOW
 
Vitamin D
SLIDESHOW
Healthy meal with salmon
Article