CA 19-9 is a blood test that measures the level of a protein called cancer antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) in your blood. Here are some reasons why you might consider getting a CA 19-9 test:
Monitor pancreatic cancer: CA 19-9 is a tumor marker that is often elevated in people with pancreatic cancer. A CA 19-9 test can be used to monitor pancreatic cancer, track the effectiveness of treatment, and detect recurrence.
Diagnose other medical conditions: Elevated CA 19-9 levels can also be a sign of other medical conditions, such as liver disease, gallbladder disease, or certain types of cancer, including gastrointestinal and ovarian cancer. A CA 19-9 test may be used to help diagnose or monitor these conditions.
Screen for pancreatic cancer: While a CA 19-9 test is not recommended as a routine screening test for pancreatic cancer, it may be used in certain situations, such as in people with a high risk of developing pancreatic cancer or in those who have symptoms suggestive of pancreatic cancer.
Overall, a CA 19-9 test can provide important information about your risk of pancreatic cancer, help diagnose or monitor certain medical conditions, and track the effectiveness of treatment. However, it’s important to remember that an elevated CA 19-9 level does not always mean that you have cancer, and a normal level does not necessarily rule out the presence of cancer. A CA 19-9 test should always be interpreted in the context of other medical information and testing.