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Carbohydrate antigen (CA19-9) is a protein that is found in very small amounts on the surface of certain cancer cells. It may be found in the blood when it is shed by tumour cells. It is also found in trace amounts in the pancreas, liver, gall bladder and lungs of healthy adults.
A CA19-9 test may be done to check:
A CA19-9 test is usually done in a private laboratory or hospital laboratory. No special preparation is usually needed.
An increased CA 19-9 value can occur in non-cancerous and cancerous conditions.
In cancerous conditions:
The doctor will decide if more tests, procedures, follow-up care or additional treatment is needed.
The Canadian Cancer Society is actively lobbying the federal government to establish a national caregivers strategy to ensure there is more financial support for this important group of people.