CA 15-3 Also known as: CA-Breast; Cancer antigen-breast Formal name: Cancer Antigen 15-3 Related tests: CA 27.29; Tumor markers; CEA; Her2/neu; Hormone Receptor Status; Gene Expression Tests for Breast Cancer The Test How do you use? When is it ordered? What is the result? Is there anything else I should know? How do you use? CA 15-3 is not sensitive or specific enough to be considered useful as a tool for cancer detection. Its main use is to control a person's response to the treatment of breast cancer and to monitor the recurrence of breast cancer. CA 15-3 is sometimes ordered to give a doctor a general idea of ??the amount of cancer may be present (tumor burden). CA 15-3 can only be used as a marker if the cancer is producing large quantities of it, so this test is not useful for all breast cancer patients. When is it ordered? CA 15-3 may be ordered along with other tests, such as estrogen and progesterone receptors, HER2/neu, and gene expression tests for breast cancer, when advanced breast cancer was first diagnosed to help determine the characteristics of cancer and treatment options. If the CA 15-3 initially rises, then you can order to monitor treatment efficacy and to detect recurrence. CA 15-3 is usually ordered when breast cancer is detected early, before it has metastasized, as the levels are not elevated in the majority of early cancers. What is the result? In general, the higher the level of CA 15-3, the more advanced breast cancer and the larger tumor burden. CA 15-3 concentrations tend to increase as the cancer grows. In metastatic breast cancer, higher levels of CA 15-3 are often observed when the cancer has spread to the bones and / or liver. Mild to moderate elevations of CA 15-3 was seen in a variety of conditions, including liver and pancreas cancer, cirrhosis and benign breast diseases, as well as a certain percentage of apparently healthy individuals. CA 15-3 elevations observed in non-cancerous conditions tend to be stable over time. Normal levels of CA 15-3 does not guarantee that a person is not localized breast cancer or metastatic. Perhaps it is too early in the disease for elevated levels of CA 15-3 to be detected or the person may be one of the 25% to 30% of people with advanced breast cancer whose tumors do not shed CA 15-3. The increased concentrations of CA 15-3 over time can indicate that a patient is not responding to treatment or recurrent cancer. Is there anything else I should know? The levels of CA 15-3 is often not measured immediately after treatment for breast cancer begins. There have been cases of transient increases and decreases in CA 15-3 is not related to the progress of the individual. Usually the doctor will wait a few weeks after starting treatment to begin monitoring CA 15-3 levels. CA 15-3 may be elevated in other malignant tumors of breast, lung, pancreas, ovary, liver and colorectal cancer.
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