Friday, December 28, 2007

An Effective Test

CA-125 and TVU Tests for Ovarian Cancer
From an article by David Johnson, Ph.D., and David Sandmire, M.D. with Daniel Klein

The carcinogenic antigen (CA) 125 blood test measures levels of a protein that is normally confined within a cell. Ovarian cancer cells may produce an excess of these protein molecules, and therefore the CA-125 test can help in diagnosing and monitoring this disease. It’s important to remember that simply measuring blood levels of CA-125 alone cannot effectively find early ovarian cancer. In many early-stage ovarian cancers, this molecule is not necessarily released in large amounts. In conjunction with a transvaginal ultrasound (TVU) screening, however, the CA-125 test can be very effective. A transvaginal ultrasound, also known as an endovaginal ultrasound, involves the use of sound waves to delineate internal structures. The transducer produces images that can be seen on a video monitor, and a hard copy can be made on film.

The test is completely painless and does not take much time.

2 comments: said...

Fran Drescher recommends asking for a trans-vaginal ultrasound in addition to a pap smear. That way you know if it's just a cyst or something more serious.

Anonymous said...

My mother died of ovarian cancer and I was touched to see your blog telling women about this silent killer. I have heard mixed opinions from different doctors regarding the ca-125. I am a critical care nurse and I have had baseline ultrasounds done. My sister has had the ca-125 tests, but her doctor also feels that it is not definitive. I have been informed by a colleague about genetic testing for tumor markers looking for the cancer itself. I am exploring this further and was told that it was extremely expensive. I hope and pray each day that my sister and I are not strickened with this deadly cancer.