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CA 15-3 Test
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CA 15-3 Test

I was diganoised with breast cancer Oct 2004. I can chemo/radiation followed by removal of both breast. Dec 2006 I had a CA 15-3 test done & results were 89. Just had another done 3/13 & results were 800. I will be getting a bone/ct scan done Monday 3/20... Would you explain the recent test results (800) in layman terms..

Thank You...
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Dear Monroes3:  The CA 15-3 test is a blood test that was developed as a tumor marker to measure the response of cancer (most specifically breast cancer).  Increases in the levels of CA 15-3 are believed to indicate possible cancer growth.  Unfortunately, this is not a precise or diagnostic test.  Levels do not always correlate with disease that can be identified on scan.  The CA 15-3 may only serve to indicate that further testing is warranted.  The difficulty for the physician occurs when the CA 15-3 is elevated and all testing and scanning is negative (no evidence of disease).  Most physicians do not treat patients with potentially toxic therapy based solely on an elevated CA 15-3.  Many physicians choose not to do the CA 15-3 because its exact role is unclear.
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