Cancer Antigen (CA) 15-3 Blood Test
The Cancer Antigen (CA) 15-3 Blood Test monitors invasive breast cancer treatment and detects possible recurrences.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Cancer Antigen (CA) 15-3 Blood Test, which is used for monitoring the response to invasive breast cancer treatment and monitoring the recurrence of the disease. CA 15-3 is a tumor marker that is produced by certain cancer cells and released into the bloodstream. It triggers the body's immune system to defend against cancerous cells. While it is not used to screen or diagnose breast cancer specifically, it can help monitor certain types of cancers. Breast cancer is one of the cancers that can release CA 15-3, especially after treatment.
Regular monitoring of this substance can provide valuable information about the presence and progress of cancer. It is important to note that elevated levels of CA 15-3 do not necessarily indicate the presence of cancer, as other conditions, such as liver disease or benign breast conditions, can also cause an increase in CA 15-3 levels. Therefore, further testing and evaluation is necessary for a definitive diagnosis.
This test might be necessary if:
- A breast cancer diagnosis has been made, and treatment monitoring is necessary.
- Breast cancer treatment is completed, and confirmation is required to determine whether the cancer has returned or spread.
What does an abnormal CA 15-3 result indicate?
If you have a blood test for CA 15-3 and the results show high levels, it doesn't necessarily mean you have breast cancer or that the cancer has returned. Other medical conditions can also cause high levels. However, if the levels are higher than expected, it may indicate that the disease is getting worse or has returned. If the levels are lower, it may be a sign that the condition is improving. It's important to talk to a healthcare professional to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
When should I order a Cancer Antigen (CA) 15-3 Blood Test?
Individuals may order this test if they have experienced symptoms related to breast cancer. Common signs or symptoms of breast cancer may include:
- Lump in the breast
- Bloody discharge from the nipple
- Changes in the form or feel of your breast or nipple
- Redness or swollen lymph nodes
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