Ca 125 Test
Testing for cancer
   Ca 125 Test | Mucin Test

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Ca 125 Test

CA125 has many names in the medical field and many physicians refer to it as the Mucin 16 test or the MUC16 test. Mucin 16 is actually a specific type of protein that is found among humans. MUC16 is a type of glycoprotein and in the CA-125 test it is used as a medium for tumor marking. Thus, the CA 125 test is called the biomarker test. Whenever the MUC16 levels exceed certain clinical definitions, chances are that some form of cancerous growth is present in the patient. CA-125 test or the cancer antigen 125 test is also called the carbohydrate antigen test or just the Cancer 125 Test. In a more accurate description, this drug is a part of the monitoring process for patients undergoing treatment for cancer, particularly ovarian cancer. CA-125 has a diagnostic use also.

Cancer patients are repeatedly tested with the Ca 125 test to ensure that the cancer growth has regressed or whether it has re-activated during the cancer therapy. Usually, those undergoing radiological treatment for cancer are repeatedly put through a series of series of CA-125 tests during and after the chemotherapy or radiation therapy sessions. This is done to ensure that the chances of a cancer recurrence are immediately addressed. Occasionally, this test is used for purely preventative reasons wherein it is conducted to test women who have a cancerous tendency or those who are suspected of becoming ovarian cancer carriers. This is applicable to women who have history of benign or malignant cyst removals or those who have a family history of ovarian cancer.

Understanding Ca125 Test Methodology

The entire blood extraction procedure is similar to any regular, blood testing procedure. When conducting the test, blood is drawn from a vein. The vein of choice is the one located along the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The blood is then sent forth for further testing. The biomarker ability of the MUC16 protein ensures that the degree in which a patient is responding to the cancer treatment can also be readily verified. This is why the CA-125 test is often called the cancer indicator test. The test results obtained from the lab read like the blood test results that are sourced after intensive bloodwork. The readings are expressed in the form of units per milliliter (U/mL). The usual readings for a CA-125 should be below the 35 U/mL-mark. Yes, the values tend to vary if the patient is undergoing intensive cancer treatment and hence, the value-range rather than the exact values are used to measure the degree of cancer risk or the kind of improvement the patient has made.

Understanding Ca125 Test Results

If the test result values are abnormal, jumping to a conclusion of the patient having cancer is a case of wrongful interpretation of medical data. For starters, women who have some degree of ovarian cancer susceptibility are expected to have some surge in the CA 125 test readings. Similarly, the benchmarks vary for every individual depending upon the course of cancer treatment. Please understand that this test is seldom used to diagnose ovarian cancer-it is primarily an indicator or a marker test that is used to gauge various clinical findings. At the most, the degree up to which the ovarian cancer has progressed or its chances of recurrence can be estimated based upon the Ca 125 test findings.
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