Does arthritis elevate CA-125

Last Modified: February 16, 2003

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Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
Two years ago my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She underwent a course of chemo, had surgery to remove the tumor, and underwent a second round of chemo. She now has osteoarthritis in her hip and her CA-125 is elevated from 7 to 24. My question is: Could there be a correlation between the inflammation and her elevated CA-125? She is having hip replacement next month and the Dr. is going to do another CA-125 test in March.  

Answer

Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

Several conditions other than ovarian cancer may cause elevations in CA-125. The non-gynecologic causes include hepatitis, pancreatitis, cirrhosis, heart failure, diabetes, diverticulitis, and pneumonia, just to name a few. While arthritis associated with autoimmune disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosis or rhematoid arthritis may contribute to elevations, I am not aware that osteoarthritis causes the CA-125 to rise. Checking the level again in March is a good idea. If the level continues to rise, your physician may recommend a CT scan to check for any recurrence of tumor.


News
CA-125 blood test, transvaginal ultrasound do not lower risk, have high false-positive rate

May 23, 2011 - The combined use of a CA-125 blood test and transvaginal ultrasound for early detection of ovarian cancer does not appear to reduce the risk of death from the disease in the general population, and harm may result from diagnostic evaluation performed after false-positive tests, according to research to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from June 3 to 7 in Chicago.



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