Breast tumor marker (CA 15-3)
Why this test?
- To monitor the effectiveness of breast cancer treatment and to detect recurrences of the disease.
- For differential diagnosis of benign and malignant neoplasms of the mammary glands.
- To obtain information about the volume and spread of the tumor.
- The higher the level of CA 15-3 in the blood, the greater the mass of tumor cells in the body.
In what cases is it prescribed?
- To control the course of breast cancer and to develop tactics for its treatment.
- Periodically to monitor the effectiveness of treatment and to detect relapses in patients who had an elevated level of CA 15-3 from the very beginning.
Cancer antigen CA 15-3 is a high molecular glycoprotein of the mucin type, which is produced by normal cells of the mammary gland.
The level of CA 15-3 is elevated in 10% of women with early-stage breast cancer and in approximately 70% with metastases of such cancer. The CA 15-3 test does not have sufficient sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of an early stage of cancer, but it allows monitoring the course of the disease and the occurrence of relapses.
An excessive concentration of CA 15-3 does not always indicate breast cancer, sometimes an excess of the norm occurs in tumors of other localizations (colorectal cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, cervix and endometrium), benign mammary gland formations, hepatitis and liver cirrhosis, in healthy women during pregnancy.