The CA 15-3 test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.
Description: The CA 15-3 is a cancer antigen test that is measuring the levels of the cancer antigen 15-2 that is present with breast cancer. This test is commonly used to monitor and watch for recurrence of breast cancer.
Also Known As: Cancer Antigen 15-3 Test, CA-Breast Test, Cancer Antigen-Breast Test, CA153 Test
Collection Method: Blood Draw
Specimen Type: Serum
Test Preparation: No preparation required
When is a CA 15-3 test ordered?
When advanced breast cancer is first detected, CA 15-3 may be administered together with other tests to assist evaluate cancer features and treatment options. If CA 15-3 is initially raised, it may be ordered on a regular basis to assess therapy effectiveness and to help detect recurrence. When breast cancer is identified early, before it has progressed, CA 15-3 is usually not ordered since levels are not raised in the majority of early tumors.
What does a CA 15-3 blood test check for?
Normal breast cells produce cancer antigen 15-3, which is a protein. The production of CA 15-3 and the related cancer antigen 27.29 is enhanced in many persons with malignant breast tumors. CA 15-3 does not induce cancer; instead, tumor cells dump it into the bloodstream. CA 15-3 is measured in the blood in this test.
CA 15-3 is a tumor marker that may be tested in the blood and used to track the progression of cancer. CA 15-3 is high in fewer than half of women with early-stage breast cancer or a small tumor, whereas it is elevated in nearly 80% of women with advanced breast cancer. The test isn't always useful because not all women with invasive breast cancer have increased CA 15-3.
Because it is non-specific, CA 15-3 is not recommended as a screening test for breast cancer in women. It can also be increased in healthy persons and people who have tumors of the colon, lungs, pancreatic, ovary, or prostate, as well as certain illnesses like cirrhosis, hepatitis, and benign breast disease.
Lab tests often ordered with a CA 15-3 test:
- HER2/neu test
- Estrogen Receptor Status
- Progesterone Receptor Status
- Gene Expression tests
Conditions where a CA 15-3 test is recommended:
How does my health care provider use a 15-3 test?
The cancer antigen 15-3 test, as well as the associated CA 27.29 test, are primarily used to track therapy response and detect breast cancer recurrence. They are used in conjunction with other clinical evaluations and tests to assess a person's breast cancer, such as estrogen and progesterone receptors, Her2/neu, and genomic testing for breast cancer.
CA 15-3 is occasionally ordered to get a sense of how much cancer is present. Because CA 15-3 can only be used as a marker if the cancer produces high levels of it, this test isn't appropriate for everyone with breast cancer.
Because non-cancerous diseases can induce increased levels, the CA 15-3 and CA 27.29 tests are not precise or specific enough to be used as cancer screening tests.
What do my CA 15-3 test results mean?
The greater the CA 15-3 level, the further advanced the breast cancer is and the more cancer is found in general. CA 15-3 levels tend to rise as the cancer progresses. When metastatic breast cancer has progressed to the bones and/or liver, the highest levels of CA 15-3 are frequently detected.
CA 15-3 levels that rise over time may suggest that a patient is not responding to treatment or that the cancer has returned.
Normal CA 15-3 levels do not rule out the possibility of metastatic or localized breast cancer. It could be too early in the disease process to identify elevated CA 15-3 levels, or the person could be one of the roughly 20% to 25% of advanced breast cancer patients whose tumors do not shed CA 15-3.
CA 15-3 levels are mild to moderate in a number of illnesses, including lung, pancreas, ovary, prostate, and colon cancer, as well as cirrhosis, hepatitis, and benign breast abnormalities, and in a small percentage of seemingly healthy people. CA 15-3 levels in non-cancerous circumstances are generally constant over time.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.