CA 19 9 what is it when to do an analysis decoding the norm in women

Such a protein can be found in the following organs of the human body:

  • Bile ducts;
  • Salivary glands;
  • Prostate gland;
  • Gastrointestinal tract;
  • Uterine cells.

Based on this, we can deduce that obtaining this antigen is permissible from the secret of the pancreas, saliva, sperm, bile. This rather specific protein can be produced even by an unborn baby – its digestive system.

When the values ​​of CA 19-9 exceed normal

The most common cases when there is a need to verify compliance with the antigen norm:

  1. Prevention of oncological pathologies of people with an unfavorable family history – if there were cases of gastric carcinoma and similar diseases in the family, the state of health should be closely monitored.
  2. The obvious symptoms of the development of a neoplasm in the pancreas or an already detected cancer.
  3. Detection of recurrent disease.
  4. Tracking the degree of effectiveness of anticancer therapy – based on the decryption of the analysis and the difference from the norm of the oncomarker Ca 19-9, the doctor can understand whether the prescribed treatment gives the desired effect, and if necessary, make adjustments to the scheme.
  5. Checking the assumption of the development of malignant or benign neoplasms in the liver, gall bladder, gastrointestinal tract, as well as the biliary tract.
  6. Determination of the dynamics of the patient’s condition.
  7. Identification of metastases before the appearance of characteristic signs of the spread of the disease.

In addition to cancer, with the help of the study it is possible to identify cystic fibrosis, chronic cholecystitis, cirrhosis of the liver and stones in the gall bladder, as well as a number of inflammatory pathologies. An experienced oncologist knows exactly what the Ca 19-9 tumor marker shows, and can use the data to prescribe other necessary examinations and establish a diagnosis.

An increase in glycoprotein levels can occur against a background of benign inflammation and tumors in the digestive system and in the liver – often up to one hundred units per ml, but in special cases it can even reach five hundred units per ml. Such an increase in glycoprotein also occurs in cystic fibrosis. In the first embodiment, the concentration can be increased in 12% of patients.

Glycoprotein usually comes out with bile. In connection with this process, cholestasis is accompanied by an increase in data on the level of CA 19-9. In such cases, gamma-glutamate transferase and alkaline phosphatase are simultaneously tested. An increase in CA 19-9 may also occur against tumors in another area (with colorectal cancer, ovarian tumors, cirrhosis, spleen cancer, hepatitis).

What are the indicators CA 19-9 talking about

The international standards system has not established the norm of the oncomarker Ca 19-9 in the blood. Differences in permissible values ​​are associated with the variability of the methods for studying the biomaterial and the reagents used. If you carefully examine the survey form, you can see that the normative values ​​are indicated in the field of reference indicators. For women and representatives of the stronger sex, the norm is identical and averages 10-37 (sometimes up to 35) units per milliliter.

With cancer in the pancreas, a high level of glycoprotein is shown. Research on this tumor marker, the permissible readings of which is within 10 units / ml, is needed when diagnosing carcinoma, assessing the possibility of using a surgical operation. When the testimony of CA 19-9 is higher than a thousand units per ml, a cancer tumor is considered operable in a minimal number of patients – about 5% of patients.

In addition, the study of high molecular weight glycoprotein is prescribed in addition to alpha-fetoprotein, when they diagnose and monitor the treatment of tumors of the gallbladder, liver.

Doctors say that it is unrealistic to derive the correct diagnosis, based solely on the results of studies on CA 19-9. Use the results of this analysis to determine the degree of surgical intervention is not worth it.

General information about tumor marker CA 19-9

What is the CA 19-9 tumor marker? The name of the element speaks for itself: it is a substance that helps detect the development of tumor processes. To identify neoplasms in various organs, studies are carried out on different protein structures.

The tumor marker, or carbohydrate antigen 19-9, is a specific glycoprotein that has a close relationship with the Lewis protein. Its location is the surface of red blood cells.

If we talk about what kind of tumor marker is from the point of view of laboratory importance, such an analysis plays a huge role in the diagnosis of oncology that affects the digestive tract. And that’s all: no other localization of tumor processes can be suspected according to the results of this test.

For research, venous blood is used as biological material. CA 19-9 is an effective tumor marker. Its definition is used in the diagnosis, monitoring and early detection of metastasis in the stomach, pancreas, liver, intestines (colon and rectum). The level of CA 19-9 is increased in almost all patients with gastrointestinal tumors, especially the pancreas.

Absence or reduced level

The acceptable normal level of this tumor marker does not indicate the absence of a malignant tumor in the pancreas. In this case, an early stage of cancer is diagnosed, in which the protein level has not yet managed to rise.

Experts note that a normal concentration does not exclude the presence of a malignant neoplasm in the pancreas. In this case, an early stage of the pathology can be diagnosed, when the level has not yet managed to rise. When conducting a study in patients receiving treatment, a decrease in glycoprotein may indicate the effectiveness of therapeutic measures.

Preparation for blood donation at CA 19-9

Before blood sampling on CA 19-9, it is recommended not to smoke for half an hour. Try to avoid drinking alcohol for at least hours. Do not eat fatty, fried foods, take medications. No need to exhaust yourself with physical work and sports loads on the day of the analysis. If it is not possible to stop taking any medicine, it is necessary to notify the attending physician and laboratory assistant about this.

The diagnostic value of this analysis increases while conducting research on CEA. Also, to make the most accurate diagnosis and prescribe the necessary treatment for cancer, it is recommended to take tests for concentrations of CA 72-4, total bilirubin, CA 242. Blood sampling is usually carried out from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Today, pancreatic cancer is becoming more common even at a young age – after thirty years this risk may already arise. This pathology is one of the most poorly diagnosed and poorly treatable diseases. That is why it is so important to diagnose this disease in time and start oncology treatment in a timely manner.

For this, there are tumor markers, the purpose of which is to identify the disease at the very beginning of the path. CA 19-9, despite the fact that it can not be used to diagnose the initial stages of the disease, remains the most sensitive and most informative for assessing the disease. CA 19-9 is considered the initial diagnostic criterion for making a diagnosis.

Women should know: violation of even one of the points leads to false positive results and unnecessary excitement in identifying overestimated indicators. The rules for preparing for venous blood sampling are simple.

  • during the day before the test for the tumor marker you can’t get all kinds of alcoholic beverages, eat fatty and fried foods, exercise,
  • meal in the evening 810 hours before the visit to the laboratory,
  • blood is drained from a vein on an empty stomach
  • smoking before analysis is prohibited for three to four hours.

Important! Before taking blood, you can not take drugs of any kind. If it is impossible to refuse to receive pills or injections for medical reasons, then you need to warn the doctor about this nuance. Patients with chronic pathologies of blood vessels, heart, hypertensive patients need to come to the laboratory early: at 78 o’clock to donate blood early, drink the next dose of the drug after analysis.

Increase content

An increased level of glycoprotein can be observed against a background of various inflammatory and benign pathologies in the liver and digestive system (up to 500, but most often up to 100 PIECES / ml), as well as with cystic fibrosis. In the first case, the concentration is increased in 12% of patients. The maximum level in this case is not more than 45 units / ml.

Glycoprotein is excreted with bile. In this regard, any cholestasis may be accompanied by an increase in its content. In such cases, it is necessary to simultaneously conduct a study of GGT (gamma-glutamate transferase) and alkaline phosphatase. An increase in concentration can also be observed against the background of tumors of a different localization (with colorectal cancer, ovarian tumors), hepatic pathologies (cirrhosis, hepatitis).


Experts note that today cancer in the pancreas is increasingly found in patients after 30 years. This pathology is considered one of the most difficult to diagnose and poorly amenable to therapy. In this regard, the most sensitive tests are needed to identify it. Unfortunately, the study of antigen concentration cannot be used to diagnose the initial stages of the development of the disease.

Nevertheless, this test remains the most sensitive and informative for evaluating the effectiveness of treatment, identifying an early stage of metastasis of a malignant neoplasm. Undoubtedly, the specialist uses the results of various diagnostic measures during the examination. In addition to laboratory, instrumental studies are assigned to the patient. The most affordable of them today is ultrasound.

During its implementation, a specialist can detect a tumor the size of two centimeters. To clarify the size, position, as well as the spread of the malignant process, computed tomography is prescribed. Using this method, a tumor as small as three centimeters can be detected. It should be noted that CT is associated with a certain dose of x-ray radiation.

Therefore, this study is not carried out often or as a prophylaxis. A lesser load on the patient’s body has an MRI. But this type of research is not conducted for persons who have any metal implants. All these diagnostic measures, along with blood tests, reveal the early stages of development or metastasis of cancer in the pancreas.

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Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.