I recently took some 'cancer screening' blood tests, and came up with a positive ca 15-3 ( it was 30 and then I retested and it was 29.5). I have a strong history of early cancer in my family ( I am 56 years old). I had a screening ultrasound which showed some cysts in my left breast. My white count has been low for years (3.6 now).Other than that, I seem healthy. ( well, I do have a slightly sore lymph node under my right arm)
Is there much chance that the test was a false positive and I am not sick? What should I do next?
I heard that many people actually have cancer for years before they show symptoms and get diagnosed.
I just want to follow up on this and see what caused the positive result.
Thank you so much for any advice of what to do next!
CA 15-3 is a tumor marker for breast cancer. The reference range of serum CA 15-3 is less than 30 U/mL. As your values are on the higher side of normal and as there are cysts in the breast and with a strong family history, you may need further tests like FNAC, fine needle aspiration cytology or a biopsy to rule out a malignancy. Please discuss this with your doctor am sure he will provide further assistance.
Although CA 15-3 is a tumor marker for BC, it is most useful in following the course of treatment in women diagnosed with breast cancer, especially advanced breast cancer. CA 15-3 levels are rarely elevated in women with early stage breast cancer.
Keep in mind that this test is somewhat nonspecific. Cancers of the ovary, lung, and prostate may also raise CA 15-3 levels. Elevated levels of CA 15-3 may also be associated with noncancerous conditions, such as benign breast or ovarian disease, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and hepatitis. Pregnancy and lactation can also cause CA 15-3 levels to rise.
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