What factors are taken into account when interpreting elevated serum CA125 levels?

Updated: Jan 10, 2020
  • Author: Gentry George T King, MD; Chief Editor: Eric B Staros, MD  more...
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Up to 80% of women with ovarian carcinoma of epithelial origin have elevated serum CA 125 levels, with the frequency of elevation correlating with the clinically detected stage. [3] The degree of elevation has also been shown to correlate with tumor burden and International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecologic (FIGO) pathologic stage. However, owing to the lack of sensitivity and specificity, elevations in single or sequential CA 125 levels alone are not recommended for ovarian cancer screening or in the initial diagnosis of ovarian cancer. [4, 5] CA 125 levels may also be elevated in other malignancies, as well as in benign and physiologic conditions.

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