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Endometriosis : CA125 blood test

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, the information on these pages is gathered from my own experience, books, websites, and other people's experience. I will not be held responsible for any injury resulting from this information. If you have a medical condition, you should seek qualified medical advice and supervision at all times.

CA125 blood test

This blood test is actually a cancer indicator that can sometimes be used to detect endometriosis, but, unfortunately, it is extremely unreliable. Cancer Antigen 125 is released from inflammed or damaged ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervis and the lining of the abdominal cavities and chest.

For someone who has never had cancer, the average level is under 35. For someone with cancer, the level would be at least 1500. For endometriosis, fibroid and adenomyosis patients, the CA125 level may be around 80, but is a very imprecise. More often this test is used to monitor endometriosis after diagnosis (to see if it goes up and down on removal, and may indicate when it grows back).

Unfortunately there has been a chain-email circulating the internet encouraging women to insist on a yearly CA125 test as an early detection method for ovarian cancer. This test is terribly unreliable, with results differing from patient to patient, and can not definitively indicate the presence or absence of cancer. Snopes.com discusses the chain-email in detail, with comments from Cancer centers and doctors.

Endometriosis, fibroids, pelvic infections, liver disease and adenomyosis can raise CA125 levels, causing too many false positive results to be a useful indication of ovarian cancer. However, it may be useful for cancer patients to monitor their CA125 levels while undergoing treatment for their cancer and afterwards. It's only one diagnostic tool that can be used, there are many more that are much more accuract

For endometriosis, fibroid and adenomyosis patients, internal ultrasounds and MRIs are usually more accurate and more descriptive when trying to diagnose the presence and extent of the abnormal endometrial and fibroid growths.

Further CA125 Resources