Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer Lab Tests and health information

Order the ovarian cancer tests to check for a substance called CA125 that is produced by some ovarian cancer cells. A high level of CA125 in your blood could be a sign of ovarian cancer. Take control and learn about your health with Ulta Lab Tests.


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Description: Cancer antigen 125 is present one most of the ovarian cancer cells. This test is used to measure the amount of CA 125 in the blood. It can be used to monitor treatment, assess patients who have successfully treated cancer, or check if there may be ovarian cancer present.

Also Known As: CA 125 Tumor Marker, Cancer Antigen 125 Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a CA 125 test ordered?

The CA-125 test may be administered before a woman begins treatment for ovarian cancer to serve as a baseline against which future values can be compared. A healthcare practitioner may order CA-125 testing at intervals during therapy to check response to treatment. After therapy is finished, CA-125 can be evaluated on a regular basis.

When a woman develops a pelvic mass, a healthcare practitioner may conduct a CA-125 test to assist figure out what's causing it.

When a woman is at high risk of developing ovarian cancer, certain healthcare practitioners may prescribe a CA-125 test and an ultrasound at regular intervals.

What does a CA 125 blood test check for?

Cancer Antigen 125 is a protein found on the surface of most ovarian cancer cells, but not all. In certain instances, this makes the test useful as a tumor marker. The CA-125 test determines how much CA-125 is present in the blood.

CA-125 concentrations in the blood of an ovarian cancer patient may be significantly increased. As a result, the test could be used to track the success of treatment and/or check for cancer recurrence. However, because not all women with ovarian cancer have increased CA-125, the test may not be appropriate in all circumstances.

Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of death among women. According to the American Cancer Society, a woman's lifetime risk of acquiring ovarian cancer is roughly 1 in 75, with a 1 in 100 chance of dying from it. According to the American Cancer Society, around 22,000 new cases are identified each year in the United States, with approximately 14,000 women dying as a result.

Only around 20% of ovarian tumors are discovered in the early stages, before they have progressed beyond the ovary. The signs of ovarian cancer are extremely non-specific, which is one of the main reasons they go unnoticed.

Ongoing research is being driven by the need for a dependable tool for early identification of ovarian cancer in asymptomatic women. In the meanwhile, it's critical to get frequent physicals, pelvic exams, and be aware of your family's medical history and symptoms.

Because CA-125 is non-specific, it is not suggested as a screening test for asymptomatic women. CA-125 is produced in small amounts by normal tissues throughout the body, as well as by some malignancies. A range of non-cancerous diseases, such as menstruation, pregnancy, and pelvic inflammatory disease, can cause somewhat high levels in the blood.

Lab tests often ordered with a CA 125 test:

  • CEA
  • BRCA Gene Mutation

Conditions where a CA 125 test is recommended:

  • Ovarian Cancer

How does my health care provider use a CA 125 test?

Cancer Antigen 125 is a tumor marker that is primarily used to track therapy during ovarian cancer treatment. CA-125 is also used to see if cancer has returned after therapy has ended. CA-125 tests with rising or falling concentrations are generally more informative than a single result.

CA-125 is sometimes used in conjunction with transvaginal ultrasonography to screen and monitor women who are at high risk for ovarian cancer but have not yet been diagnosed with the disease. An inherited genetic mutation in one of two genes, breast cancer gene 1 or breast cancer gene 2, is the most significant risk factor for ovarian cancer. Family history, advancing age, reproductive history and infertility, hormone replacement treatment use, and obesity are all risk factors.

To explore a mass in a woman's lower abdomen area, a CA-125 test may be ordered in conjunction with a transvaginal ultrasound.

However, because the test is non-specific, it is not used to screen women for ovarian cancer. The US Preventive Services Task Force advises against ovarian cancer screening in women. This advice is for asymptomatic women only; it does not apply to women who are at a high risk of developing ovarian cancer, such as those who have a genetic mutation.

There is currently no single reliable approach for detecting ovarian cancer in asymptomatic women. Only around 20% of ovarian tumors are discovered in their early stages, before they have progressed beyond the ovary. The signs of ovarian cancer are extremely non-specific, which is one reason they go unnoticed. In the meanwhile, it's critical to get frequent physicals, pelvic checks, and be aware of family history and other risk factors.

What do my CA 125 test results mean?

If CA-125 levels drop throughout treatment, it usually means that the malignancy is responding to it. If CA-125 levels increase or remain unchanged, the cancer may not be responding to treatment. CA-125 values that are elevated after therapy may suggest that the cancer has returned.

If a woman has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and has a normal baseline CA-125 level, the test is unlikely to be beneficial in monitoring her illness. CA-125 is not a suitable predictor of disease development in this scenario because the ovarian cancer may not be making it.

A considerably raised CA-125 is concerning in a woman with a pelvic mass or in a woman who has a high risk of developing ovarian cancer, but it does not always imply ovarian cancer. This discovery would lead to more testing and evaluation.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


CA 125 is used as an aid in monitoring the response to therapy for patients with epithelian ovarian cancer and in detecting residual ovarian cancer in patients who have undergone therapy. HAMA pre-treatment inhibits possible heterophilic interference.

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Description: CEA is a test that measures the levels of carcinoembryonic antigens in the blood. It is used to evaluate a person who has been diagnosed with cancer. The levels of CEA maybe elevated with certain types of cancer.

Also Known As: Carcinoembryonic antigen Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a CEA test ordered?

When a person is diagnosed with colon cancer or another type of cancer, a CEA test may be ordered. It will be evaluated before treatment begins and subsequently on a frequent basis to assess treatment success and detect recurrence.

When cancer is suspected but not yet diagnosed, a CEA test may be conducted. Although CEA can be increased with a variety of illnesses, this is not a popular usage for the test, it may provide additional information to a healthcare practitioner.

When a healthcare practitioner suspects that a cancer has metastasized, a CEA test may be conducted on a fluid other than blood.

What does a CEA blood test check for?

Carcinoembryonic antigen is a protein found in the developing tissues of a fetus. It drops to a very low level by the time a baby is delivered. CEA is generally seen in extremely low amounts in the blood of people, but it can be raised in cancer patients. This test examines the quantity of CEA in the blood to aid in the evaluation of cancer patients.

CEA is a tumor indicator. CEA was once assumed to be a particular marker for colon cancer, however subsequent research has revealed that an elevation in CEA can be detected in a variety of malignancies. Non-cancer disorders such as inflammation, cirrhosis, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, rectal polyps, emphysema, and benign breast disease, as well as smokers, can cause an increase in CEA. As a result, it is ineffective as a general cancer screening tool, although it does play a role in assessing cancer therapy response. An initial CEA baseline test may be performed after a person has been diagnosed with cancer. If this level is raised, serial CEA testing may be used to track the cancer's progress as the patient receives treatment.

Lab tests often ordered with a CEA test:

  • Tumor Markers
  • CSF Analysis
  • Body Fluid Analysis
  • CA 19-9
  • Calcitonin
  • Alpha Fetoprotein
  • Antiphospholipid Antibodies

Conditions where a CEA test is recommended:

  • Colon Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Lung Cancer

How does my health care provider use a CEA test?

The carcinoembryonic antigen test can be utilized in the following situations:

  • To keep track of the treatment of persons who have been diagnosed with colon cancer. It can also be used as a marker for rectum, lung, breast, liver, pancreatic, stomach, and ovary malignancies. Prior to therapy, a CEA test is usually ordered as a "baseline" measurement. If the level is high, the test can be used to track a patient's response to treatment and see if the cancer has advanced or returned.
  • Cancer staging entails determining the size of the tumor as well as the extent to which it has spread.
  • CEA testing in a bodily fluid sample can help doctors figure out if cancer has progressed to a body cavity like the chest or abdomen.
  • In the examination of cancer, a CEA test can be performed in conjunction with other tumor markers.

CEA is not produced by all malignancies, therefore a positive CEA test does not always indicate cancer.

What do my CEA test results mean?

Monitoring treatment and recurrence: CEA levels that are first raised but later return to normal following treatment indicate that the cancer has been successfully treated. The first symptom of tumor recurrence is frequently a progressively rising CEA level.

Staging: People with smaller and early-stage tumors are more likely to have a normal or slightly raised CEA score on initial testing. A high CEA value is more probable in people with larger tumors, later-stage cancer, or cancers that have disseminated throughout the body.

Testing for metastasis: If CEA is found in a bodily fluid other than blood, the cancer has most likely migrated to that part of the body. If CEA is found in CSF fluid, for example, it could suggest that cancer has spread to the central nervous system.

Because not all malignancies produce CEA, it's possible to have cancer and a normal CEA at the same time. The test will be useless as a surveillance tool if a malignancy does not produce CEA.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Inhibins are heterodimeric protein hormones secreted by granulosa cells of the ovary in females and Sertoli cells of the testis in males. Inhibins selectively suppress the secretion of pituitary follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and also have local paracrine actions in the gonads. In females, inhibin A is primarily produced by the dominant follicle and corpus luteum, whereas inhibin B is primarily produced by small developing follicles. Serum inhibin A and B levels fluctuate during the menstrual cycle. Inhibin A is low in the early follicular phase and rises at ovulation to maximum levels in the midluteal phase.

Inhibin-B is the major circulating inhibin in males and can be used as endocrine marker of spermatogenesis in subfertile men. In the female, since Inhibin-B decreases to undetectable levels after normal menopause, certain ovarian cancers (mucinous carcinomas, granulosa cell tumors) continue to produce inhibin after menopause, Inhibin-B can serve as a regular screening test in the female, especially in post-menopausal women.

Description: The Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test is a blood test used to detect the protein alpha-fetoprotein which is produced by the liver.

Also Known As: AFP Test, Total AFP Test, AFP-L3 Test, Alpha-Fetoprotein Tumor Markers, Alpha-Fetoprotein Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test ordered?

An AFP blood test may be ordered by a healthcare provider:

  • When abdominal masses are felt during a medical examination or imaging testing reveal possible malignancies, it is likely that someone has liver cancer or certain malignancies of the testicles or ovaries.
  • When someone has been diagnosed with and treated for cancer of the liver, testicles, or ovaries, the success of treatment is being assessed.
  • When someone is being watched for a recurrence of cancer
  • Patients with persistent hepatitis or liver cirrhosis should be followed up on.
  • When a person has chronic liver illness, an AFP-L3 percent is occasionally ordered to help evaluate the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, test the efficiency of hepatocellular carcinoma treatment, or monitor for recurrence.

What does an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 blood test check for?

Alpha-fetoprotein is a protein produced predominantly by the liver of a developing baby and the yolk cavity of a developing embryo. When a baby is born, AFP levels are usually high and then rapidly drop. Liver injury and certain malignancies can drastically raise AFP levels. This test determines the amount of AFP in your blood.

When the liver cells regenerate, AFP is generated. AFP can be continuously high in chronic liver illnesses such hepatitis and cirrhosis. Certain cancers can produce extremely high quantities of AFP. Because of this, the AFP test can be used as a tumor marker. Many persons with hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatoblastoma, a kind of liver cancer that affects babies, have elevated levels of AFP. They're also discovered in certain persons who have testicular or ovarian cancer.

There are various different types of AFP. The normal AFP test measures total AFP, which includes all of the AFP variations. In the United States, this is the most common AFP test.

One of the AFP variations is known as L3 because of its propensity to attach to a protein called Lens culinaris agglutinin in the lab. The AFP-L3 percent test compares the quantity of AFP-L3 to the total amount of AFP and is a relatively recent test. Increased L3 levels are linked to a higher likelihood of developing hepatocellular carcinoma in the near future, as well as a worse prognosis, because L3-related malignancies are more aggressive.

AFP-L3 can be higher in people with hepatocellular carcinoma than in those with benign liver disorders who have low total AFP. In Japan, tumor markers such as total AFP and AFP-L3 are utilized in conjunction with ultrasound to monitor hepatocellular carcinoma. This procedure differs from that in the United States and Europe, but healthcare practitioners in the United States occasionally order the two tests.

Lab tests often ordered with an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test:

  • CEA
  • CA-125
  • hCG Tumor Marker
  • DCP

Conditions where an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test is recommended:

  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer

How does my health care provider use an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test?

The tumor marker alpha-fetoprotein is used to detect and diagnose malignancies of the liver, testicles, and ovaries. Despite the fact that the test is frequently done to monitor persons with chronic liver illnesses including cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis B, or hepatitis C who have an elevated lifetime risk of developing liver cancer, most current guidelines do not advocate it. An AFP test, together with imaging studies, may be ordered by a healthcare provider to try to diagnose liver cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages.

If a person has been diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma or another type of AFP-producing cancer, an AFP test may be done on a regular basis to assess treatment response and disease recurrence.

When comparing the amount of the AFP variation AFP-L3 to the total amount of AFP, an AFP-L3 percent is occasionally ordered. The AFP-L3 percent test is not extensively used in the United States, but it is becoming more popular in other nations, such as Japan. The test is used to assess the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, particularly in people with chronic liver disease, as well as the response of the cancer to treatment.

What do my Alpha-fetoprotein test results mean?

Increased AFP levels can suggest the presence of cancer, such as liver cancer, ovarian cancer, or testicular germ cell tumors. However, not all cancers of the liver, ovary, or testicles produce substantial amounts of AFP.

Other malignancies, such as stomach, colon, lung, breast, and lymphoma, might sometimes have elevated levels, but it is rarely ordered to check these illnesses. Cirrhosis and hepatitis are two disorders that can generate elevated levels.

When using AFP as a monitoring tool, lower levels suggest a therapeutic response. If concentrations do not considerably drop after cancer therapy, usually to normal or near-normal levels, some tumor tissue may still be present.

If AFP levels start to rise, the cancer is most likely to return. However, because AFP levels can be deceiving in hepatitis or cirrhosis, AFP levels can be misleading. If AFP levels are not raised prior to therapy, the test will not be useful in monitoring treatment effectiveness or detecting recurrence.

People with chronic liver disease have a higher chance of getting liver cancer when their AFP levels rise from normal to moderately raised to significantly elevated. When total AFP and AFP-L3 percent are highly higher, the person is more likely to develop or have hepatocellular carcinoma in the next year or two. In persons with chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis, however, both AFP and AFP-L3 percent concentrations might be increased and fluctuate. In these circumstances, a significant increase in AFP is more essential than the test result's numerical value.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Clinical Significance

The percentage increase in HE4 values has been used as an aid in monitoring recurrence or progressive disease in patients with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer. Currently there is no clinically accepted cut-off for use in monitoring cancer progression in epithelial ovarian cancer subjects with this assay. Serial testing for patient HE4 assay values should be used in conjunction with methods used for monitoring ovarian cancer.


The OVA1® Test is an aid to further assess the likelihood that malignancy is present when the physician's independent clinical and radiological evaluation does not indicate malignancy. The OVA1® Test is a qualitative serum test that combines the results of five immunoassays into a single numerical result. It is indicated for women who meet the following criteria: over age 18, ovarian adnexal mass present for which surgery is planned, and not yet referred to an oncologist. The test is not intended as a screening or stand-alone diagnostic assay, or for patients with a diagnosis of malignancy within the last 5 years, or to determine whether a patient should proceed to surgery. Samples that contain rheumatoid factor ?250 IU/mL cannot be used in the OVA1® Test. Triglyceride levels above 4.5 g/L may interfere with the assay and should not be used in the OVA1® Test.

The OVA1® Test is an aid to further assess the likelihood that malignancy is present when the physician's independent clinical and radiological evaluation does not indicate malignancy. The OVA1® Test is a qualitative serum test that combines the results of five immunoassays into a single numerical result. It is indicated for women who meet the following criteria: over age 18, ovarian adnexal mass present for which surgery is planned, and not yet referred to an oncologist. The test is not intended as a screening or stand-alone diagnostic assay, or for patients with a diagnosis of malignancy within the last 5 years, or to determine whether a patient should proceed to surgery. Samples that contain rheumatoid factor ?250 IU/mL cannot be used in the OVA1® Test. Triglyceride levels above 4.5 g/L may interfere with the assay and should not be used in the OVA1® Test.

ROMA™ (Risk of Ovarian Malignancy Algorithm)

Includes

CA125, HE4 Ovarian CA Monitoring, and Risk of Ovarian Malignancy calculation

Clinical Significance

The risk of Ovarian Malignancy Algorithm (ROMA™) test is intended to aid in assessing the risk of ovarian cancer in women with a pelvic mass based on the patient's HE4 and CA125 levels, and their menopausal status. Women with ROMA™ levels above the cutoff have an increased risk of ovarian cancer. ROMA™ must be interpreted in conjunction with an independent clinical and radiological assessment.

The ROMA™ test is indicated for women who meet the following criteria:
over age 18; presence of an ovarian pelvic mass for which surgery is planned; and not yet referred to an oncologist.

The CA125 and HE4 tests are performed using the Abbott ARCHITECT i2000SR unit. The values obtained with different assay methods cannot be used interchangeably due to differences in assay methods and reagent specificity.

The test is not intended as a screening stand-alone diagnostic or tumor monitoring assay. Tumor monitoring using HE4 and/or CA125 should be ordered separately.

The ROMA value is the result of a computation based on the HE4 and CA125 values observed.
Reference:
1. Moore RG, et al. A novel multiple marker bioassay utilizing HE4 and CA 125 for the prediction of ovarian cancer in patients with a pelvic mass. Gynecol Oncol 2009; 112:40-6.

 


This test detects mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes which are the most common causes of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers.

This test is specific for hCG beta subunit and offers sensitivity necessary to detect pregnancy as early as ten days post conception.

Description: The hCG test is a blood test that measures the amount of hCG in the blood. It is used to confirm pregnancy or to help identify an ectopic pregnancy. It can also be used to confirm that there is not a pregnancy before a medical treatment.

Also Known As: Beta hCG Test, Chorionic Gonadotropin Test, hCG Total Qualitative Test, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (Hcg), Qualitative Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Total, Qualitative, Pregnancy Test. hCG Blood Test

Collection Method: Blood draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an hCG Total Qualitative test ordered?

The timing of pregnancy testing is determined by a woman's accuracy in predicting the day of her menstrual period, as well as the technique of testing employed. Blood tests are more sensitive than urine tests and can be performed two days before a woman's period is expected to begin. By 10 days after a missed menstrual cycle, a urine or blood hCG test can be done with confidence. A woman may be able to ascertain whether she is pregnant the day she misses her period with a urine test, but the result may be mistakenly negative. If the first test is negative but pregnancy is suspected, the test may be repeated at a later date.

When a doctor wants to diagnose or rule out an ectopic pregnancy or monitor a woman after a loss, he or she may perform quantitative blood hCG testing over several days. A woman may first have the standard signs and symptoms of pregnancy, but subsequently develop others that signal the pregnancy is not proceeding as planned.

The following are some of the indications and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Lower abdominal pain or cramps on one side of the pelvis

If left untreated, the following signs and symptoms may worsen:

  • Weakness, dizziness
  • Fainting or feeling faint
  • Blood pressure that is too low
  • Suffering from shoulder pain
  • In the pelvic area, there is a sudden, severe ache.
  • Flu-like symptoms and a fever
  • Vomiting

If left untreated, the region around an ectopic pregnancy might burst and hemorrhage, resulting in cardiac arrest and death.

Prior to a medical operation or therapy that could be detrimental during pregnancy, an hCG test may be recommended.

What does an hCG Total Qualitative blood test check for?

Human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone produced by a pregnant woman's placenta. The level of hCG in the blood rises early in pregnancy and is excreted in the urine. A pregnancy test detects human chorionic gonadotropin in the blood or urine and confirms or disproves pregnancy.

During the first few weeks of pregnancy, hCG is crucial for sustaining the corpus luteum's function. During the first trimester of a typical pregnancy, hCG production rises steadily, culminating around the 10th week after the last menstrual cycle. During the duration of the pregnancy, levels gradually decrease. Within a few weeks of birth, hCG is no longer detectable.

The level of hCG in the blood increases at a slower rate when a pregnancy develops outside of the uterus. When an ectopic pregnancy is suspected, monitoring the level of hCG in the blood over time may be helpful in confirming the diagnosis.

Similarly, when a developing baby has a chromosomal problem such as Down syndrome, the hCG blood level may be abnormal. As part of the usual screening for fetal anomalies, an hCG test is utilized in conjunction with a few additional assays.

Lab tests often ordered with an hCG Total Qualitative test:

  • Progesterone
  • First Trimester Screening
  • Second Trimester Screening

Conditions where an hCG Total Qualitative test is recommended:

  • Pregnancy

How does my health care provider use an hCG Total Qualitative test?

The presence of hCG is detected by qualitative hCG testing, which is commonly used to screen for pregnancy. A test strip is dipped into a collected cup of urine or exposed to a woman's urine stream, depending on the method. Within the time provided by the instructions, generally approximately 5 minutes, a colored line appears. It is critical to properly follow the test recommendations in order to obtain reliable test results. If the test comes out negative, it's usually repeated a few days later. Because hCG levels grow quickly, a previously negative test can become positive in a short period of time.

Quantitative hCG testing, also known as beta hCG testing, determines the amount of hCG in the blood. It's possible that it'll be utilized to confirm a pregnancy. It can also be used in conjunction with a progesterone test to help diagnosis an ectopic pregnancy, diagnose and monitor a failing pregnancy, and/or monitor a woman following a miscarriage.

hCG blood levels, along with a few other tests, can also be used to screen for fetal abnormalities. See First Trimester Down Syndrome Screen or Second Trimester Maternal Serum Screening for further information on this application.

If a woman is about to undergo medical treatment, be put on certain drugs, or have other testing, such as x-rays, that could harm the developing baby, an hCG test may be done to check for pregnancy. This is normally done to make sure the woman isn't expecting. Before any medical intervention, such as an operation, that could potentially harm a fetus, most institutions now screen all female patients for pregnancy using a urine or blood hCG test.

What do my hCG test results mean?

A negative hCG result indicates that a woman is unlikely to be pregnant. However, tests conducted too early in a pregnancy, before a sufficient hCG level has been reached, may result in false-negative results. If there is a strong likelihood of pregnancy, the test may be repeated a few days later.

A positive hCG test indicates that a lady is pregnant.

The level of hcG in a woman's blood rises at a slower rate than normal in an ectopic pregnancy. For the first four weeks of a typical pregnancy, hCG levels double about every two days, then slow to every 3 1/2 and half days by six weeks. Those who had failed pregnancies often have a lengthier doubling time early on, and their hCG concentrations may even fall during the doubling stage. Following a miscarriage, hCG levels will drop rapidly. If hCG levels do not drop to undetectable levels, it could mean that there is still hCG-producing tissue that needs to be removed.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: The hCG test is a blood test that measures the amount of hCG in the blood. It is used to confirm pregnancy or to help identify an ectopic pregnancy. It can also be used to confirm that there is not a pregnancy before a medical treatment.

Also Known As: Beta hCG Test, Chorionic Gonadotropin Test, hCG Total Quantitative Test, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (Hcg), Quantitative Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Total, Quantitative, Pregnancy Test, hCG Blood Test

Collection Method: Blood draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an hCG Total Quantitative test ordered?

The timing of pregnancy testing is determined by a woman's accuracy in predicting the day of her menstrual period, as well as the technique of testing employed. Blood tests are more sensitive than urine tests and can be performed two days before a woman's period is expected to begin. By 10 days after a missed menstrual cycle, a urine or blood hCG test can be done with confidence. A woman may be able to ascertain whether she is pregnant the day she misses her period with a urine test, but the result may be mistakenly negative. If the first test is negative but pregnancy is suspected, the test may be repeated at a later date.

When a doctor wants to diagnose or rule out an ectopic pregnancy or monitor a woman after a loss, he or she may perform quantitative blood hCG testing over several days. A woman may first have the standard signs and symptoms of pregnancy, but subsequently develop others that signal the pregnancy is not proceeding as planned.

The following are some of the indications and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Lower abdominal pain or cramps on one side of the pelvis

If left untreated, the following signs and symptoms may worsen:

  • Weakness, dizziness
  • Fainting or feeling faint
  • Blood pressure that is too low
  • Suffering from shoulder pain
  • In the pelvic area, there is a sudden, severe ache.
  • Flu-like symptoms and a fever
  • Vomiting

If left untreated, the region around an ectopic pregnancy might burst and hemorrhage, resulting in cardiac arrest and death.

Prior to a medical operation or therapy that could be detrimental during pregnancy, an hCG test may be recommended.

What does an hCG Total Quantitative blood test check for?

Human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone produced by a pregnant woman's placenta. The level of hCG in the blood rises early in pregnancy and is excreted in the urine. A pregnancy test detects human chorionic gonadotropin in the blood or urine and confirms or disproves pregnancy.

During the first few weeks of pregnancy, hCG is crucial for sustaining the corpus luteum's function. During the first trimester of a typical pregnancy, hCG production rises steadily, culminating around the 10th week after the last menstrual cycle. During the duration of the pregnancy, levels gradually decrease. Within a few weeks of birth, hCG is no longer detectable.

The level of hCG in the blood increases at a slower rate when a pregnancy develops outside of the uterus. When an ectopic pregnancy is suspected, monitoring the level of hCG in the blood over time may be helpful in confirming the diagnosis.

Similarly, when a developing baby has a chromosomal problem such as Down syndrome, the hCG blood level may be abnormal. As part of the usual screening for fetal anomalies, an hCG test is utilized in conjunction with a few additional assays.

Lab tests often ordered with an hCG Total Quantitative test:

  • Progesterone
  • First Trimester Screening
  • Second Trimester Screening

Conditions where an hCG Total Quantitative test is recommended:

  • Pregnancy
  • Cancer

How does my health care provider use an hCG Total Quantitative test?

The presence of hCG is detected by qualitative hCG testing, which is commonly used to screen for pregnancy. A test strip is dipped into a collected cup of urine or exposed to a woman's urine stream, depending on the method. Within the time provided by the instructions, generally approximately 5 minutes, a colored line appears. It is critical to properly follow the test recommendations in order to obtain reliable test results. If the test comes out negative, it's usually repeated a few days later. Because hCG levels grow quickly, a previously negative test can become positive in a short period of time.

Quantitative hCG testing, also known as beta hCG testing, determines the amount of hCG in the blood. It's possible that it'll be utilized to confirm a pregnancy. It can also be used in conjunction with a progesterone test to help diagnosis an ectopic pregnancy, diagnose and monitor a failing pregnancy, and/or monitor a woman following a miscarriage.

hCG blood levels, along with a few other tests, can also be used to screen for fetal abnormalities. See First Trimester Down Syndrome Screen or Second Trimester Maternal Serum Screening for further information on this application.

If a woman is about to undergo medical treatment, be put on certain drugs, or have other testing, such as x-rays, that could harm the developing baby, an hCG test may be done to check for pregnancy. This is normally done to make sure the woman isn't expecting. Before any medical intervention, such as an operation, that could potentially harm a fetus, most institutions now screen all female patients for pregnancy using a urine or blood hCG test.

What do my hCG test results mean?

A negative hCG result indicates that a woman is unlikely to be pregnant. However, tests conducted too early in a pregnancy, before a sufficient hCG level has been reached, may result in false-negative results. If there is a strong likelihood of pregnancy, the test may be repeated a few days later.

A positive hCG test indicates that a lady is pregnant.

The level of hcG in a woman's blood rises at a slower rate than normal in an ectopic pregnancy. For the first four weeks of a typical pregnancy, hCG levels double about every two days, then slow to every 3 1/2 and half days by six weeks. Those who had failed pregnancies often have a lengthier doubling time early on, and their hCG concentrations may even fall during the doubling stage. Following a miscarriage, hCG levels will drop rapidly. If hCG levels do not drop to undetectable levels, it could mean that there is still hCG-producing tissue that needs to be removed.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A Lactate Dehydrogenase or LD test is a blood test that measure the level of the enzyme Lactate Dehydrogenase in your blood’s serum and can be used to detect a wide variety of disorders including liver disease, kidney disease, infections, and pancreatitis.

Also Known As: LD Test, LDH Test, Lactic Acid Dehydrogenase Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Lactate Dehydrogenase test ordered?

When a health practitioner feels that a disease or condition is causing cellular or tissue damage, an LD level, coupled with other tests such as a comprehensive metabolic panel, may be requested. More specific tests, such as alanine transaminase, aspartate aminotransferase, or alkaline phosphatase, may be used to identify the illness and pinpoint which organs are affected if LD is increased. Total LD levels may be ordered at regular intervals to monitor the course and/or resolution of the acute or chronic issue once it has been diagnosed.

When a person has had muscle damage or injury, or when they have signs and symptoms of hemolytic anemia, LD levels may be ordered.

When a person has been diagnosed with cancer, LD testing may be performed on a regular basis.

When a person exhibits signs and symptoms of meningitis, or when there is an accumulation of fluid around the heart, lungs, or abdomen, this test may be recommended.

What does a Lactate Dehydrogenase blood test check for?

Lactate dehydrogenase is an energy-producing enzyme found in nearly all of the body's cells, with the highest concentrations in the heart, liver, muscles, kidneys, lungs, and blood cells; bacteria also produce LD. This test determines the amount of LD in the blood or other bodily fluids.

In the fluid component of the blood, just a little quantity of LD is normally measurable. When cells are injured or destroyed, LD is released into the bloodstream. As a result, an LD blood level is a non-specific indicator of tissue damage elsewhere in the body. It cannot be used to determine the underlying cause or location of cellular damage on its own. It can, however, be used in conjunction with other blood tests to assist diagnose and/or monitor disorders that cause tissue damage, such as liver or blood diseases, or cancer.

Fluid can accumulate or the components of the fluid present can change when there is damage, inflammation, or infection in a specific area of the body, such as the brain, heart, or lungs. The amount of LD in the fluid could help you figure out what's wrong. When a person has bacterial meningitis, for example, LD levels in the cerebrospinal fluid are usually high. The LD test, in combination with other tests, can be used to detect whether fluid buildup around the heart, lungs, or abdominal cavity is caused by injury or inflammation or by an imbalance of fluid pressure inside blood vessels and blood protein levels. Some fluids that can be analyzed using an LD test are listed in the article on Body Fluid Analysis.

Lab tests often ordered with a Lactate Dehydrogenase test:

  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Haptoglobin
  • Hepatic Function Panel

Conditions where a Lactate Dehydrogenase test is recommended:

  • Liver Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Lung Diseases
  • Heart Disease
  • Heart Attack
  • Anemia
  • Meningitis
  • Pancreatic Diseases
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Leukemia

How does my health care provider use a Lactate Dehydrogenase test?

A lactate dehydrogenase test is a non-specific test that can be used to diagnose a variety of diseases and disorders. When cells are injured or destroyed, LD, an enzyme found in practically all of the body's cells, is released from the cells into the fluid portion of blood. As a result, the presence of LD in the blood is a general sign of tissue and cellular damage. In the presence of certain disorders, the amount of LD may also grow in other types of body fluids.

A blood test for LD may be used:

  • As a broad measure of whether or not acute or chronic tissue injury exists and how severe it is
  • To diagnose and track the progression of illnesses such as anemia and severe infections.
  • To aid in the staging, prognosis, and/or monitoring of cancers such as germ cell tumors, lymphoma, leukemia, melanoma, and neuroblastoma, as well as lymphoma, leukemia, melanoma, and neuroblastoma.

Body fluids are subjected to an LD test for a variety of reasons:

  • To aid in the evaluation of cerebrospinal fluid and the differentiation between bacterial and viral meningitis
  • To identify whether the build up of fluid is related to an injury and inflammation or to an imbalance of pressure within blood vessels and the amount of protein in the blood by evaluating other body fluids such as peritoneal, pleural, or pericardial fluid. This information is useful in determining therapy options.

Other fluids that can be tested using an LD test are included in the article on Body Fluid Analysis.

What do my lactate dehydrogenase test results mean?

LD values that are elevated usually indicate tissue damage. As cellular death begins, LD levels normally climb, peak after a period of time, and then begin to diminish. LD levels are raised in a number of situations, indicating that it has a wide tissue distribution.

Elevated LD levels may be seen with:

  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Pernicious anemia 
  • Infectious mononucleosis
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • HIV
  • Sepsis
  • Intestinal and pulmonary infarctions
  • Acute kidney disease
  • Acute hepatitis
  • Acute muscle damage
  • Pancreatitis
  • Fractures of the bones
  • Malignancies of the testicles, lymphoma, or other cancers

A high level of LD in the blood may suggest that cancer treatment has failed. A high level is associated with a poorer prognosis for cancer patients. Moderately high LD blood levels may remain in several chronic and progressive diseases. LD levels that are low or normal do not usually indicate a concern. When a high amount of ascorbic acid is consumed, low levels can occur.

Fluids in the body:

  • Cerebrospinal fluid—a high LD implies bacterial meningitis, whereas a low or normal amount indicates viral meningitis is more likely.
  • Pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, or pleural fluid with a high LD is an exudate, while fluid with a low LD is a transudate. Cirrhosis or congestive heart failure are the most common causes of transudates. Exudates can have a variety of causes, and determining the cause usually necessitates additional testing.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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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:

  • CEA
  • HER2/neu test
  • Estrogen Receptor Status
  • Progesterone Receptor Status
  • Gene Expression tests

Conditions where a CA 15-3 test is recommended:

  • Breast Cancer

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.


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Description: Estradiol is a blood test that is used to measure the levels of Estradiol in the blood's serum. Estradiol is one of the Estrogen hormones in the body.  Estradiol, Ultrasensitive LC/MS/MS #30289 is a more appropriate test for children that have not yet started a menstrual cycle.

Also Known As: E2 Test, Estrogen 2 Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Estradiol test ordered?

Tests for estradiol for women may be ordered if:

  • After menopause, a woman may experience symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding or irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
  • When a woman is unable to conceive, a series of estradiol readings taken over the course of her menstrual cycle may be used to track follicle development before using in vitro fertilization procedures
  • A woman is experiencing menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleeplessness, and/or irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
  • If a menopausal woman is on hormone replacement therapy, her doctor may order estrone levels on a regular basis to check her progress.

Men and young boys may be subjected to estradiol testing if:

  • A boy's puberty is delayed, as evidenced by slow or delayed growth of testicles and penis, as well as a lack of deepening of voice or growth of body hair.
  • Signs of feminization, such as larger breasts.

What does an Estradiol blood test check for?

Estradiol, or E2, is a component of Estrogen that is present in the blood. For women, Estradiol is something that should be produced naturally, and the body produces larger amounts of Estradiol during puberty and it fluctuates throughout the menstrual cycle. Estradiol is most prominent in women of reproductive age. Low levels are common in girls who have not yet had their first menstrual cycle and in women after their reproductive age.

Lab tests often ordered with an Estradiol test:

  • Estrogen, Total, Serum
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Testosterone Free and Total
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Progesterone

Conditions where an Estradiol test is recommended:

  • Infertility
  • Menopause
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Hormone Imbalance
  • Premature, delayed, or abnormal development of sex organs

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use an Estradiol test?

Estrogen tests are used to detect a deficit or excess of estrogen in a woman, as well as to aid in the diagnosis of a range of illnesses linked to this imbalance. They may also be ordered to monitor the health of the growing fetus and placenta during pregnancy, as well as to help predict the timing of a woman's ovulation. Estrogen testing can be used to detect a hormone excess and its origin in men.

In the case of girls and women

Estradiol testing may be requested for the following reasons:

  • Diagnose early-onset puberty, which occurs when a girl develops secondary sex traits much earlier than anticipated, or late puberty, which occurs when a female develops secondary sex characteristics or begins menstruation later than predicted.
  • Examine menstrual irregularities such as the absence of menstrual periods, infertility, and unusual vaginal bleeding.
  • Evaluate ovary function and look for signs of ovarian failure.
  • Serial measurements of estradiol can be used to track follicle development in the ovary in the days leading up to in vitro fertilization.
  • Keep track of any hormone replacement therapy you're getting to help with your fertility.
  • Keep track of menopausal hormone replacement medication, which is used to treat symptoms caused by estrogen insufficiency.
  • Identify cancers that produce estrogen.
  • As with breast cancer, keep an eye on anti-estrogen therapy.

Boys and men may be subjected to estradiol testing in order to:

  • Assist in the diagnosis of delayed puberty
  • Assist in determining the cause of larger breasts or other feminization indications.
  • Detect an excess of relative estrogen due to a testosterone or androgen deficit.
  • Identify cancers that produce estrogen.

What do my Estradiol test results mean?

Estradiol is one of the three Estrogens that have a large impact on the women's body throughout the menstrual cycle. When these hormones are too high or too low, it could cause irregular bleeding, infertility, complications with menopause, and delayed or premature puberty. Out of range levels can also be indicative of an ovarian condition such as PCOS. It is important to note that these values will fluctuate throughout a woman's cycle. The Estrogen hormones work together and if one is out of range, the others may also be out of range. It is recommended to follow up with a licensed healthcare professional to determine the best treatment if need.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

IMPORTANT - Note this Estradiol test is not for children that have yet to start their menstrual cycle.  If this test is ordered for a child that has yet to begin their menstrual cycle Quest Diagnostics labs will substitute in Estradiol, Ultrasensitive LC/MS/MS - #30289 at an additional charge of $34


Estrogens are a group of steroids that regulate the menstrual cycle and function as the main female sex hormones. The most common forms of estrogens tested are estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3). Estrogens are responsible for the development of female sex organs and secondary sex characteristics and are tied to the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. They are considered the main sex hormones in women and are present in small quantities in men. E1 and E2 are the two main estrogens in non-pregnant females.Estrone (E1) is derived from metabolites from the adrenal gland and is often made in adipose tissue (fat). Estrone can be converted into estrdiol or estriol when needed. Estrone is present in small amounts in children prior to puberty and then increases slightly at puberty for both males and females. While levels remain constant in adult males, it will increase and fluctuate for females during the menstrual cycle. After menopause, it becomes the major estrogen, with E2 and E3 levels diminishing greatly.Estradiol (E2) is the predominant form and is produced primarily in the ovaries with additional amounts produced by the adrenal glands in women and in the testes and adrenal glands in men. In menstruating women, levels vary throughout the month, rising and falling in concert with FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone), and progesterone as follicles are stimulated in the ovaries, an egg is released, and the uterus prepares for a potential pregnancy. The level is lowest at the beginning of the menstrual cycle and rise to their highest level just before the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). Normal levels of estradiol provide for proper ovulation, fertilization of the egg (conception), and pregnancy, in addition to promoting healthy bone structure and regulating cholesterol levels.


Description: Estriol is a blood test that is used to measure the levels of Estriol in the blood's serum. Estriol is one of three Estrogen hormones in the body.  Estriol can be used to evaluate the cause of irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, or diagnose hormonal imbalances

Also Known As: Estriol LCMSMS Serum, Estriol Blood Test, Oestriol Test, E3 Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Estriol test ordered?

A medical provider may order series of estriol samples during pregnancy to look for a trend, such as whether the estriol level rises or falls over time.

As part of the triple/quad screen, unconjugated estriol is frequently tested in the 15th to 20th week of pregnancy.

What does an Estriol blood test check for?

Estrogens are a class of steroids that have a role in the development and operation of female reproductive organs, as well as the generation of secondary sex characteristics. They help regulate the menstrual cycle, are involved in the growth of breasts and the uterus, and aid in the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy, together with another hormone, progesterone. Though they are primarily associated with women, they are also prevalent in men and play a role in bone metabolism and growth in both genders. Estrogen tests look for one of three hormones in the blood: estrone, estradiol, or estriol.

The placenta produces estriol, which increases in concentration throughout a woman's pregnancy. Increasing levels indicate that the pregnancy and the developing infant are in good health. Estriol is part of the maternal serum screen, which is done in the second trimester to assess fetal risk owing to chromosomal abnormalities. Non-pregnant women and males have very low amounts of E3.

During pregnancy, the predominant estrogen is estriol. The placenta produces it, and it begins to rise in the eighth week of pregnancy and continues to rise throughout the pregnancy. Approximately 4 weeks previous to the start of labor, the level of E3 rises dramatically. Estriol, which circulates in maternal blood, is soon excreted. Each test of estriol is a snapshot of what is going on with the placenta and fetus, yet estriol concentrations vary naturally during the day.

E3 levels are virtually undetectable after delivery.

Lab tests often ordered with an Estriol test:

  • Estrogen Total
  • Estradiol
  • Estrone
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin
  • Androstenedione
  • DHEA-S

Conditions where an Estriol test is recommended:

  • Infertility
  • Menopause
  • Pregnancy
  • PCOS

How does my health care provider use an Estriol test?

Estrogen tests are used to detect a deficit or excess of estrogen in a woman, as well as to aid in the diagnosis of a range of illnesses linked to this imbalance. They may also be ordered to monitor the health of the growing fetus and placenta during pregnancy, as well as to help predict the timing of a woman's ovulation. Estrogen testing can be used to detect a hormone excess and its origin in men.

Testing for estriol:

May be ordered serially to aid in the monitoring of a high-risk pregnancy; if so, each sample should be drawn at the same time each day.

One of the components of second trimester maternal serum screening is an unconjugated estriol test. Reduced levels have been linked to Down syndrome, neural tube anomalies, and adrenal abnormalities, among other genetic illnesses.

What do my Estriol test results mean?

The sex and age of the person being tested determine the normal estrogen levels. It also depends on a woman's menstrual cycle or whether she is pregnant.

Estrogen levels can be elevated or lowered in a variety of metabolic disorders. Because the levels of estrone, estradiol, and estriol change from day to day and throughout a woman's menstrual cycle, care must be used when interpreting the results.

Rather than examining single numbers, a health practitioner monitoring a woman's hormones will look at trends in the levels, rising or falling over time in connection with the menstrual cycle or pregnancy. The findings of a test are not diagnostic of a specific ailment, but they do provide information to a health care provider regarding the possible source of a person's symptoms or status.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: Estrogen is a blood test that will measure the amount of estrogen in the blood's serum. It is used in fertility treatment, hormone treatment, and can be used to help diagnose a problem with the endocrine system.

Also Known As: Estrogen Estrogenic Hormones Test, Estrogen Test, Total Estrogen Test, Estrogen Serum Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Estrogen Total test ordered?

Testing for estrogen for girls and women may be ordered if:

  • The development of a girl's sex organs occurs sooner or later than predicted.
  • After menopause, a woman may experience symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding or irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
  • When a woman is unable to conceive, a series of estradiol readings taken over the course of her menstrual cycle may be used to track follicle development before using in vitro fertilization procedures.
  • A woman is experiencing menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleeplessness, and/or irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
  • If a menopausal woman is on hormone replacement therapy, her doctor may order estrone levels on a regular basis to check her progress.

Boys and men may be subjected to estrogen testing if:

  • A boy's puberty is delayed, as evidenced by slow or delayed growth of testicles and penis, as well as a lack of deepening of voice or growth of body hair.
  • Signs of feminization, such as larger breasts, can be seen in a guy.

What does an Estrogen Total blood test check for?

Estrogens are a class of steroids that have a role in the development and operation of female reproductive organs, as well as the generation of secondary sex characteristics. They help regulate the menstrual cycle, are essential in the growth of breasts and the uterus, and aid in the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy, together with another hormone, progesterone. Though they are primarily associated with women, they are also prevalent in men and play a role in bone metabolism and growth in both genders.

The amount of estrogen in a man's blood varies, but it does so much less over time and is much lower than in a woman's.

Lab tests often ordered with an Estrogen Total test:

  • Estradiol
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Testosterone Free and Total
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Progesterone

Conditions where an Estrogen Total test is recommended:

  • Infertility
  • Menopause
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Hormone Imbalance
  • Premature, delayed, or abnormal development of sex organs

How does my health care provider use an Estrogen Total test?

Estrogen tests are used to detect a deficit or excess of estrogen in a woman, as well as to aid in the diagnosis of a range of illnesses linked to this imbalance. They may also be ordered to monitor the health of the growing fetus and placenta during pregnancy, as well as to help predict the timing of a woman's ovulation. Estrogen testing can be used to detect a hormone excess and its origin in men.

What do my Estrogen test results mean?

The sex and age of the person being tested determine the normal estrogen levels. It also depends on a woman's menstrual cycle or whether she is pregnant. The normal values indicated and the units used in reference ranges will differ slightly between laboratories.

Estrogen levels can be elevated or lowered in a variety of metabolic disorders. Because the levels of estrone, estradiol, and estriol change from day to day and throughout a woman's menstrual cycle, care must be used when interpreting the results.

Rather than examining single numbers, a health practitioner monitoring a woman's hormones will look at trends in the levels, rising or falling over time in connection with the menstrual cycle or pregnancy.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: Estrone is one of the estrogen tests, there are three types of Estrogens that are frequently tested; estrone is one of them and the other two are estradiol and estriol. Estrone is a blood test that will measure the amount of estrone in the blood's serum. It is used in fertility treatment, hormone treatment, and can be used to help diagnose a problem with the endocrine system.

Also Known As: E1 Test, Estrogen 1 Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Estrone test ordered?

Estrone testing in women and girls may be requested if:

  • The development of a girl's sex organs occur sooner or later than predicted.
  • After menopause, a woman may experiences symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding or irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
  • When a woman is unable to conceive, a series of estradiol readings taken over the course of her menstrual cycle may be used to track follicle development before using in vitro fertilization procedures 
  • A woman is experiencing menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleeplessness, and/or irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
  • If a menopausal woman is on hormone replacement therapy, her doctor may order estrone levels on a regular basis to check her progress.

Estrone levels in men could be requested in the following circumstances:

  • A boy's puberty is delayed, as evidenced by delayed or slow growth of penis and testicles, as well as a lack of body hair or voice deepening.
  • Signs of feminization, such as larger breasts

What does an Estrone test check for?

Estrogens are a class of steroids that have a role in the development and function of women's reproductive organs, as well as the generation of secondary sex characteristics. They help regulate the menstrual cycle, are involved in the growth of breasts and the uterus, and aid in the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy, together with another hormone, progesterone. Though they are primarily associated with women, they are also prevalent in men and play a role in bone metabolism and growth in both genders. Estrogen tests look for one of three hormones in the blood or urine: estrone, estradiol, or estriol.

Androstenedione or other androgens are directly transformed to estrone. The ovaries and placenta, as well as the testicles and adipose tissues, can all produce E1. As needed, E2 and E1 can be transformed into each other. In men and postmenopausal women, E1 is the main estrogen.

Lab tests often ordered with an Estrone test:

  • Estrogen
  • Estriol
  • Estradiol
  • Estradiol, Ultrasensitive
  • Testosterone Free and Total
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Progesterone

Conditions where an Estrone test is recommended:

  • Infertility
  • Menopause
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Hormone Imbalance
  • Premature or delayed puberty
  • Breast cancer

How does my health care provider use an Estrone test?

Estrone testing is used to identify a woman's estrogen insufficiency or excess, as well as to diagnose a range of illnesses linked to this imbalance. It may also be ordered to monitor the health of the growing fetus and placenta during pregnancy, as well as to help pinpoint the date of a woman's ovulation. Estrone testing can be used to determine a hormone excess and its source in men.

What do my Estrone test results mean?

The sex and age of the person being tested influence the normal estrone readings. It also depends on a woman's menstrual cycle or whether she is pregnant. The normal values indicated and the units used in reference ranges will differ slightly between laboratories.

Estrone levels can rise or fall in a variety of metabolic situations. Estrone levels change from day to day and throughout a woman's menstrual cycle, therefore interpretation of the results must be done with caution.

Rather than examining single numbers, a health practitioner monitoring a woman's hormones will look at trends in the levels, rising or falling over time in connection with the menstrual cycle or pregnancy. The findings of a test are not diagnostic of a specific ailment, but they do provide information to a health care provider regarding the possible source of a person's symptoms or status.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Brief Description: Testosterone, Free (Dialysis) and Total, MS is a blood test used to detect abnormal levels of testosterone in both male and female patients, and diagnose causes of erectile dysfunction, infertility, virilization, polycystic ovary syndrome, and delayed or early puberty in children.

Also Known As: Total Testosterone, Free Testosterone, Testosterone Free and Total

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Free and Total Testosterone test ordered?

When infertility is suspected, or when a man has decreased sex drive or erectile difficulties, a testosterone test may be ordered. Other signs include a lack of beard and body hair, a loss of muscle mass, and the formation of breast tissue. Low total and bioavailable testosterone levels have also been linked to, or caused by, increased visceral fat, insulin resistance, and an increased risk of coronary artery disease.

The test is frequently ordered in conjunction with the FSH and LH tests in males who are experiencing delayed or slow puberty. Although the age at which puberty begins varies from person to person, it usually begins around the age of ten. The following are some of the signs and symptoms of delayed puberty:

  • Muscle mass development is delayed.
  • Voice not getting lower or a lack of body hair growth
  • Growth of the testicles and penis is slowed or delayed.

When a young boy appears to be going through an early puberty with clear secondary sex traits, the test can be ordered. Various malignancies and congenital adrenal hyperplasia can cause early puberty in boys due to elevated testosterone.

When a woman has irregular or no menstrual cycles, is having trouble getting pregnant, or displays masculine traits such as abundant facial and body hair, male pattern baldness, and/or a low voice, testosterone testing may be done. Testosterone levels can rise as a result of malignancies in the ovary or adrenal gland, as well as other illnesses including polycystic ovarian syndrome.

What does a Testosterone Total and Free blood test check for?

In men, testosterone is the primary sex hormone. It's in charge of a man's physical appearance. Although it is thought to be a "masculine" sex hormone, it is found in both men and women's blood. This test determines the amount of testosterone in a person's blood.

Testosterone is primarily produced in the male testicles by unique endocrine tissue called Leydig cells. It's also made by the adrenal glands in both males and females, as well as the ovaries in females in modest amounts.

In males, testosterone promotes the formation of secondary sex characteristics such as penis size, body hair growth, muscle development, and a deeper voice. It is abundant in males during adolescence and adulthood in order to regulate sex drive and preserve muscle mass. Estradiol is the major sex hormone in females, and testosterone is converted to it in women.

The pituitary gland produces luteinizing hormone, which stimulates and regulates testosterone synthesis. Testosterone functions in a negative feedback loop: when testosterone levels rise, LH production falls, slowing testosterone production; lower testosterone levels cause higher LH production, which promotes testosterone production.

Testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day, increasing in the early morning hours and dropping in the evening. Levels rise after activity and fall as people get older.

About two-thirds of testosterone is attached to sex-hormone binding globulin in the bloodstream, with the remaining one-third bound to albumin. Only a small percentage of testosterone is released into the bloodstream as free testosterone. The bioavailable fraction is the free plus albumin-bound testosterone, which can act on target tissues.

Lab tests often ordered with a Testosterone Free and Total test:

  • Estradiol
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Estrogens
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Albumin
  • Prolactin
  • Anti-mullerian Hormone
  • Androstenedione
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin

Conditions where a Testosterone Free and Total test is recommended:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Alcoholism
  • Mumps
  • Hypothalamic disease
  • Pituitary disease
  • Infertility
  • Liver disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Eating disorders
  • Pregnancy
  • Cushing Syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Testicular cancer
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a Testosterone Free and Total test?

In men, women, girls, and boys, testosterone testing is used to identify a variety of problems. Testosterone is the major sex hormone in males, and it is responsible for masculine physical traits. It is produced mostly by the testicles. Although it is thought to be a "male" sex hormone, it is found in both males and females.

The testosterone test can be used to determine whether or not you're experiencing:

  • Delayed or early puberty in boys
  • In both men and women, sex drive has decreased.
  • Men's erectile dysfunction
  • Male and female infertility
  • Tumors of the testicles in men
  • Disorders of the hypothalamus or pituitary gland
  • Virilization and hirsutism in girls and women

A testosterone total test is usually used to diagnose a condition. The free and total testosterone test distinguishes between testosterone that is bound to proteins in the blood and testosterone that is not attached to proteins.

About two-thirds of testosterone is tied to SHBG in the blood, with the remaining one-third attached to albumin. Free testosterone circulates in a tiny percentage. Bioavailable testosterone is made up of free testosterone and testosterone bound to albumin, and it can operate on target tissues.

A test for free or bioavailable testosterone may be performed in some circumstances, such as when the level of SHBG is abnormal, as it may more accurately indicate the presence of a medical issue.

Other tests and hormone levels may be performed in conjunction with testosterone testing, depending on the reason for testing. Here are a few examples:

  • FSH
  • LH
  • Estrogen
  • Estradiol
  • SHBG
  • DHEA-S
  • Prolactin
  • Androstenedione
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone

What does my testosterone test result mean?

Males: 

Testosterone levels often begin to fall after the age of 30. Testosterone levels may drop more in obese or chronically unwell men, as well as with the use of certain drugs.

Hypogonadism can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Pituitary or hypothalamic illness
  • Reduced testosterone production in young males can be caused by genetic disorders
  • Possible infertility or testicular failure
  • Acquired damage to the testes, such as from drinking, physical injury, or viral infections like mumps, reduces testosterone production.
  • Diabetes

Healthcare practitioners may recommend testosterone replacement therapy to men who have consistently low testosterone levels and associated signs and symptoms. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved testosterone supplements to improve strength, sports performance, or avoid aging disorders. It's possible that using it for these purposes is dangerous.

Increased testosterone levels in men can mean one of several things:

  • Tumors of the testicles
  • Testosterone-producing tumors in the adrenal glands
  • Use of anabolic steroids
  • Early puberty in males due to an unknown cause
  • Adrenal hyperplasia in toddlers and babies

Females:

Testosterone levels in women are typically low. Increased testosterone levels can mean one of the following things:

  • Ovarian or adrenal gland tumor
  • PCOS
  • Adrenal hyperplasia that occurs at birth.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: Testosterone, Total, MS is a blood test used to detect abnormal levels of testosterone in both male and female patients, and diagnose causes of erectile dysfunction, infertility, virilization, polycystic ovary syndrome, and delayed or early puberty in children.

Also Known As: Total Testosterone Test, Testosterone Total Test, Female Testosterone Test, Pediatric Testosterone Test, Ultrasensitive Testosterone Test, Uncapped Testosterone Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Testosterone Total test ordered?

When infertility is suspected, or when a man has decreased sex drive or erectile difficulties, a testosterone test may be ordered. Other signs include a lack of beard and body hair, a loss of muscle mass, and the formation of breast tissue. Low total and bioavailable testosterone levels have also been linked to, or caused by, increased visceral fat, insulin resistance, and an increased risk of coronary artery disease.

The test is frequently ordered in conjunction with the FSH and LH tests in males who are experiencing delayed or slow puberty. Although the age at which puberty begins varies from person to person, it usually begins around the age of ten. The following are some of the signs and symptoms of delayed puberty:

  • Muscle mass development is delayed.
  • Voice not getting lower or a lack of body hair growth
  • Growth of the testicles and penis is slowed or delayed.

When a young boy appears to be going through an early puberty with clear secondary sex traits, the test can be ordered. Various malignancies and congenital adrenal hyperplasia can cause early puberty in boys due to elevated testosterone.

When a woman has irregular or no menstrual cycles, is having trouble getting pregnant, or displays masculine traits such as abundant facial and body hair, male pattern baldness, and/or a low voice, testosterone testing may be done. Testosterone levels can rise as a result of malignancies in the ovary or adrenal gland, as well as other illnesses including polycystic ovarian syndrome.

What does a Testosterone Total blood test check for?

In men, testosterone is the primary sex hormone. It's in charge of a man's physical appearance. Although it is thought to be a "masculine" sex hormone, it is found in both men and women's blood. This test determines the amount of testosterone in a person's blood.

Testosterone is primarily produced in the male testicles by unique endocrine tissue called Leydig cells. It's also made by the adrenal glands in both males and females, as well as the ovaries in females in modest amounts.

In males, testosterone promotes the formation of secondary sex characteristics such as penis size, body hair growth, muscle development, and a deeper voice. It is abundant in males during adolescence and adulthood in order to regulate sex drive and preserve muscle mass. Estradiol is the major sex hormone in females, and testosterone is converted to it in women.

The pituitary gland produces luteinizing hormone, which stimulates and regulates testosterone synthesis. Testosterone functions in a negative feedback loop: when testosterone levels rise, LH production falls, slowing testosterone production; lower testosterone levels cause higher LH production, which promotes testosterone production.

Testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day, increasing in the early morning hours and dropping in the evening. Levels rise after activity and fall as people get older.

About two-thirds of testosterone is attached to sex-hormone binding globulin in the bloodstream, with the remaining one-third bound to albumin. Only a small percentage of testosterone is released into the bloodstream as free testosterone. The bioavailable fraction is the free plus albumin-bound testosterone, which can act on target tissues.

In many circumstances, measuring total testosterone is sufficient information for a healthcare provider. A test for free or bioavailable testosterone may be performed in some circumstances, such as when the level of SHBG is abnormal, as it may more accurately indicate the presence of a medical issue.

Lab tests often ordered with a Testosterone Total test:

  • Estradiol
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Estrogens
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Albumin
  • Prolactin
  • Anti-mullerian Hormone
  • Androstenedione
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin

Conditions where a Testosterone Total test is recommended:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Alcoholism
  • Mumps
  • Hypothalamic disease
  • Pituitary disease
  • Infertility
  • Liver disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Eating disorders
  • Pregnancy
  • Cushing Syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Testicular cancer
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a Testosterone Total test?

In men, women, girls, and boys, testosterone testing is used to identify a variety of problems. Testosterone is the major sex hormone in males, and it is responsible for masculine physical traits. It is produced mostly by the testicles. Although it is thought to be a "male" sex hormone, it is found in both males and females.

The testosterone test can be used to determine whether or not you're experiencing:

  • Delayed or early puberty in boys
  • In both men and women, sex drive has decreased.
  • Men's erectile dysfunction
  • Male and female infertility
  • Tumors of the testicles in men
  • Disorders of the hypothalamus or pituitary gland
  • Virilization and hirsutism in girls and women

A testosterone total test is usually used to diagnose a condition. The free and total testosterone test distinguishes between testosterone that is bound to proteins in the blood and testosterone that is not attached to proteins.

About two-thirds of testosterone is tied to SHBG in the blood, with the remaining one-third attached to albumin. Free testosterone circulates in a tiny percentage. Bioavailable testosterone is made up of free testosterone and testosterone bound to albumin, and it can operate on target tissues.

A test for free or bioavailable testosterone may be performed in some circumstances, such as when the level of SHBG is abnormal, as it may more accurately indicate the presence of a medical issue.

Other tests and hormone levels may be performed in conjunction with testosterone testing, depending on the reason for testing. Here are a few examples:

  • FSH
  • LH
  • Estrogen
  • Estradiol
  • SHBG
  • DHEA-S
  • Prolactin
  • Androstenedione
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone

What does my testosterone test result mean?

Males: 

Testosterone levels often begin to fall after the age of 30. Testosterone levels may drop more in obese or chronically unwell men, as well as with the use of certain drugs.

Hypogonadism can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Pituitary or hypothalamic illness
  • Reduced testosterone production in young males can be caused by genetic disorders
  • Possible infertility or testicular failure
  • Acquired damage to the testes, such as from drinking, physical injury, or viral infections like mumps, reduces testosterone production.
  • Diabetes

Healthcare practitioners may recommend testosterone replacement therapy to men who have consistently low testosterone levels and associated signs and symptoms. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved testosterone supplements to improve strength, sports performance, or avoid aging disorders. It's possible that using it for these purposes is dangerous.

Increased testosterone levels in men can mean one of several things:

  • Tumors of the testicles
  • Testosterone-producing tumors in the adrenal glands
  • Use of anabolic steroids
  • Early puberty in males due to an unknown cause
  • Adrenal hyperplasia in toddlers and babies

Females:

Testosterone levels in women are typically low. Increased testosterone levels can mean one of the following things:

  • Ovarian or adrenal gland tumor
  • PCOS
  • Adrenal hyperplasia that occurs at birth.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.



It can be hard to catch ovarian cancer in its early stages. One of the best ways to diagnose it is to run ovarian cancer tests in a laboratory.

If you or a loved one have been suffering from the symptoms of ovarian cancer, have a family history, or you've been diagnosed and want to check on your treatment, it's a good idea to get yourself tested.

If you're looking for more information about ovarian cancer lab tests and how they can help, read on.

What is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer is an uncontrolled cell growth in a woman's reproductive system, originating within the ovaries. The ovaries are responsible for regulating estrogen and progesterone hormones and releasing an egg cell during a woman's monthly cycle.

There are three main types of ovarian cancer, based on where the abnormality originates. The most common type is epithelial tumors, where the cells grow in excess on the outer surface of the ovaries.

Less than two percent of ovarian cancer results from germ cell tumors, which start as egg cells or the cells that produce them. The last type, stromal tumors, originate in the connective tissue or cells that regulate hormones and are very rare.

How Do They Check for Ovarian Cancer?

A doctor may do a physical exam, ultrasound test, or bloodwork (such as the CA-125 cancer marker test) to determine if you have ovarian cancer. For many types of ovarian cancer, it is impossible to determine whether the tumor is malignant, borderline, or benign until after you have had it removed and/or had a biopsy.

Causes and Risk Factors

The causes for developing ovarian cancer are still unknown. Research is ongoing to determine possible causes or links between ovarian cancer and ovulation or an egg cell's release. Genetic changes and mutations that cause ovarian cancer are still being studied.

Risk factors for developing epithelial ovarian cancer include age, being overweight or obese, never having a full pregnancy or getting pregnant past 35 years of age, taking hormone therapy, having a family history of cancer, having a fertility treatment such as in-vitro fertilization, smoking, and having breast cancer.

Signs and Symptoms

Some common warning signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer include:

  • Bloating or feeling full too quickly
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Problems with urination such as needing to go often or badly
  • Constipation
  • Pain during sex
  • Back pain
  • Upset stomach
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in the menstrual cycle

It's important to note that many women with early ovarian cancer do not have symptoms. Besides that, many of the symptoms are fairly common or could not be linked to ovarian cancer.

If you or a loved one are experiencing a combination of these ovarian cancer symptoms, it's a good idea to get a screening test just to be safe. It is less likely to get an ovarian cancer diagnosis in the early stages because these symptoms don't typically present themselves until the later stages. 

Ovarian Cancer Tests

There are a few ovarian cancer lab tests for cancer monitoring to detect changes in cancer markers.

The CA-125 monitoring test is a blood test that monitors the amount of a certain tumor marker known as CA-125 in the blood. This test has benefits for tracking patients over time who have already had cancer since your doctor can watch to make sure levels stay low. If levels ever have a sharp increase, cancer may be back.

The CA-125 test is not as helpful in diagnosing ovarian cancer since a small percentage of healthy women have naturally high levels of this marker. Besides, there may also be instances of ovarian cancer in the body, even when the levels are low.

The OVA1® test is an aid to help evaluate an ovarian mass for cancer where malignancy is present when the physician's independent clinical and radiological evaluation does not indicate malignancy. OVA1 accurately "detected 94% of cancers in women of all ages" compared with 77% found using CA 125.

The He4 cancer monitoring test is a newer tumor marker test with the same function as the CA-125 test. This cancer monitoring test looks for a different cancer marker in the blood. This test is still new, so more research may be needed to determine if this test may one day help us diagnose ovarian cancer.

Other tests, including an MRI or CAT scan test, can help your doctor determine if you have a cyst or tumor in your ovaries or anywhere else in your abdomen. Your doctor may also recommend an ultrasound test, which is quick and accurate enough to determine if there are larger tumors or cysts.

These tests cannot determine whether the tumor or cyst is malignant or cancerous. A biopsy of the tumor in a laboratory can determine if the growth is malignant, borderline, or benign. 

Genetic Testing

Another type of cancer testing preventative test is the BRCA1/2 genetic mutation test. This test looks for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genes, which constitute a higher risk for developing ovarian and breast cancer.

These tests are only recommended for those with a genetic predisposition to cancer and do not tell whether you have active ovarian cancer or a current illness.

Benefits of Getting Tested

The benefits of cancer lab testing are that you can be prepared in the event of a future ovarian cancer diagnosis. Getting a baseline for your CA-125 or He4 levels can help you to stay informed about your body in order for you and your physician to make informed decisions about your health.

There's no need for insurance or doctor's referrals to order your tests online. You can get secure and confidential results online within 24 to 48 hours for most tests. This can help you to keep track of your condition to make sure you're on the path to recovery and alert you if there are any changes.

Make sure to consult with a doctor or other medical professional if you're unsure about what the results of your tests might mean. It's important to get treatment for cancer from a medical professional.

Take Charge of Your Health

If you or a loved one are in need of ovarian cancer tests for monitoring your condition, you don't have to wait for insurance or a doctor's referral. You can order your tests online with Ulta Lab Tests and take charge of your health today.