How to understand about markers in the blood

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Just-in-time
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by Just-in-time on Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:28 pm

How to understand about markers in the blood

Can you explain to me what these "markers" are and what is their significance? What numbers should they ideally be? Zero perhaps? I feel very confused about this and didn't ask the oncologist the right questions when I saw her. Is it bad if they are high, or only if they are going up? Thank you.

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Professor Ahmed Ahmed
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by Professor Ahmed Ahmed on Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:50 pm

Re: How to understand about markers in the blood

In relation to ovarian cancer, the marker that is commonly referred to is called CA125. The normal level of CA125 in the blood is between 0 and 35 IU/L. The idea is that ovarian cancer cells shed this "marker" into the blood stream. So, the marker level goes up in the presence of ovarian cancer. However, CA125 can go up because of many other non-cancer causes. Therefore, in the absence of any ovarian tumour, one "high" reading may not be a cause for great concern. A repeat sample showing that it is going up, would be more meaningful. Therefore, your doctor may sometimes recommend having the test repeated.

Please note that the interpretation of the CA125 results is very much dependent on the individual case. So, my answer above is a general overview about CA125. Your oncologist is best positioned to give you specific advice. It is not a problem that you do not feel that you did not ask the "right" questions. It is hard to get all the information you need in one consultation. Perhaps ask again when you meet your oncologist or see your GP to ask more question.
Professor Ahmed Ahmed
Professor of Gynaecological Oncology

https://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/c ... hmed-ahmed

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