CA 15-3 - Carcinogenic antigen 15-3 - test only by physician request
Tumor marker for breast cancer
This test is offered exclusively to people who have a doctor's request for therapy and follow-up for breast cancer. It may be that you are being treated abroad and in temporary stay in the Netherlands. If your foreign doctor requires a follow up you can order this test from Blood Value Test.
When ordering you need to indicate at 'remarks' that you agree with sending the results to Bloodvalue Test and accept the possibility that mentally incriminating results may be found.You also need to mention the name of the requesting doctor.
We can only perform the tests and provide you with the measured values, for further interpretation of these tests you should contact a medical specialist.
Tumor markersare substances, usually proteins, that the body makes in response to cancer or that are made by the cancer itself. Some tumor markers belong to one type of cancer, others are found in multiple types. These substances do not prove that there is a tumor: we also find them in other diseases and even in healthy people. So the result alone does not say everything. Tumor markers can help make a diagnosis, but only in combination with other tests. The substances tell a hospital a lot about the course of the disease.
The clinical significance of CA 125 is mainly in monitoring (chemo) therapy for
CA 15-3 is primarily used in monitoring the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.
Elevated values are also found in carcinomas of the ovary, endometrium, corpus, stomach, lungs, pancreas and liver.
Elevated values can also be measured in benign diseases, but usually do not exceed the limit of 35 E/ml.
To properly diagnose a reduction, it is important that the physician has determined the CA 15-3 value prior to treatment. After treatment CA 15-3 can be measured to monitor whether the tumor stays away. CA 15-3 cannot be used to detect breast cancer early in patients (screening). This has two main reasons:
- Not all breast cancer cells produce CA 15-3. So a normal value in the blood does not exclude breast cancer (low sensitivity)
- There are other conditions in which CA 15-3 is also elevated (low specificity)
Other conditions in which CA 15-3 may be elevated include:colon cancer andlung cancer, as well as benign conditions such as gynecological disorders and kidney failure. CA 15-3 may also be elevated duringpregnancy. The fact that CA 15-3 can be elevated under various circumstances also indicates why this tumor marker cannot be used to screen for breast cancer.
In general, tumor markers are only used to follow up on cancer in the patient. Tumor markers are not suitable for use in screening patients for the presence of cancer.