Full form of CA 125 is Cancer Antigen 125.It is a tumor marker for ovarian cancer. Normal levels are less than 35 U/L. Increased levels are seen in ovarian cancer.
CA 125 is a mucinous protein present on the epithelial surfaces of the eye, respiratory tract, ovaries
CA 125 is specifically seen increased in epithelial cell cancers. More over it has higher chances of being positive only in advanced stages of cancer .It is NOT USED for screening of ovarian cancer as it is not sensitive and specific. It needs to correlated clinically and always should be correlated with other diagnostic tests.
Role in Endometriosis:
It is not a sensitive marker for endometriosis. Levels are greater than 35 are especially seen in stage 3&4 of endometriosis. Levels greater than 100 U/mL indicate extensive pelvic adhesion’s. However the most accurate test for diagnosis of endometriosis is Laproscopy(Direct Visualisation).
HE4 – Human Epididymis Protein 4 (HE4) is a relatively new marker for Ovarian malignancy and indicates gene over expression.
It is used to monitor recurrence & disease progression in patients with Epithelial ovarian malignancy.
HE4 when used in conjunction with CA 125 helps in estimating the Risk Of Ovarian Malignancy (ROMA) in premenopausal /
postmenopausal females presenting with an adnexal mass.
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