What is CA-125?
CA-125, cancer antigen-125, is a protein that is found at levels in most ovarian cancer cells that are elevated compared to normal cells. CA-125 is produced on the surface of cells and is released in the blood stream.
What is a CA-125 test?
The CA-125 test assesses the concentration of CA-125 in the blood. The test requires a sample of the patient's blood to be drawn.
Any positive result of the CA-125 test should be supplemented with sonography (ultrasound) of the ovaries, and serial CA-125 testing.
There is also a correlation between BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutation and ovarian cancer. Women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations have a 23% chance of having ovarian cancer by age 30, and a 63% chance by age 70.
If you have a family history of ovarian cancer or you would like to reassure yourself that you do not have this disease you can begin by ordering the CA-125 and a pelvic sonogram to screen for this Cancer.
That is, ordering the CA-125 in combination with a pelvic ultrasound has a much better chance of detecting Ovarian Cancer, than the blood test alone.