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A 61-year-old male asked:

If you had to name one or 2 monitoring blood tests for pancreatic cancer would you include carbohydrate antigen 19-9 even with its false positives?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 45 years experience
Homework: Name whatever you think your instructor wants. All tumor markers have false negatives and false positives. CA19-9 is the most useful marker in pancreatic cancer. You're not going to use it for screening. It's helpful if the original tumor produces it -- rising levels let you know it's back.
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 50 years experience
Monitoring not Dx: There are number of chemicals associated with pancreatic cancer. None of these is good for making a diagnosis, but may be used to monitor the progress of disease. However even for that the role is limited due to other issues affecting levels of these markers, including CA 19-9. See this site for more info on this topic. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079322/
Last updated Jan 21, 2015


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