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CA 19-9 laboratory test

CA 19-9 is a cancer antigen on the surface of cells, which is not a cause of cancer, but if it occurs in larger amounts in the body, it may indicate pancreatic cancer. It is mostly used as a tumour marker, but a CA 19-9 test alone is not sufficient to diagnose cancer because it is not specific or sensitive enough. However, the test distinguishes well between pancreatic and bile duct cancers from other non-cancerous conditions.

What is the purpose of the test?

The test is ordered by the treating physician to monitor the treatment for pancreatic cancer and to detect any recurrence of the disease.

In which cases is it recommended to perform the test?

The test should be performed if the patient is suspected of having pancreatic cancer or if the aim is to assess or monitor the effectiveness of the therapy.

What sample is needed for the test?

A blood sample taken from a vein is needed for the test.

What can the result indicate?

Elevated CA 19-9 levels may also occur in patients with non-malignant diseases or other cancers, so it is important to emphasize that the value obtained should be evaluated with the results of further diagnostic tests.

In case of the test ordered to monitor the effectiveness of therapy, a decreased concentration of CA 19-9 indicates that the body responds well to treatment, while an elevated value indicates an aggravation of the disease.

What to do after the test?

Please always consult the doctor who ordered the test with the result, as it is not possible to make a diagnosis based on the test alone, other additional tests are required.

The CA 19-9 test is usually order with additional tests (carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), bilirubin, and/or liver panel) for symptoms suggestive of pancreatic cancer.

CA 19-9 laboratory test - Medicover

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