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Find out what a CA125 blood test is, how it’s used in diagnosing or ruling out ovarian cancer and what the results may mean. If you have a question that isn’t covered here, please feel free to call our support line on 020 7923 5475 or speak to your GP.

What is a CA125 blood test?

CA125 is a protein that’s found in blood.

A small sample of blood will be taken from your arm and sent to a lab where a simple test will measure the level of CA125 in your blood sample.

A normal level of CA125 is usually less than 35 units per millilitre (u/ml). But some women do have a naturally high level of CA125 in their blood.

As well as helping diagnose ovarian cancer, CA125 blood tests are sometimes used to monitor the treatment of ovarian cancer or check for signs of recurrence (the cancer returning).

For more information about this use of a CA125 blood test, you can speak to one of our nurse advisers by contacting our support line on 020 7923 5475.

When should I request a CA125 blood test?

Symptoms including persistent bloating, feeling full quickly and/or loss of appetite, pelvic or abdominal (tummy) pain and needing to wee more often or urgently than usual are sometimes caused by ovarian cancer.

If you have one or more of these symptoms frequently and persistently it’s unlikely that you will have ovarian cancer, but your GP will want to rule out the possibility. The CA125 blood tests is a useful way to gather some more information and will help your GP decide what to do next.

If you’re concerned that you have these symptoms, ask your GP about ovarian cancer and having a CA125 blood test.

How should I prepare for a CA125 blood test?

Your GP may suggest that you delay the test if you’re on your period as it may affect the result.

If your blood is only being tested for CA125, you can eat and drink normally before the test and resume your normal activity straight afterwards.

Does a CA125 result above 35 u/ml mean I have ovarian cancer?

No. A CA125 blood test result above 35 u/ml isn’t a diagnosis of ovarian cancer in itself. The level of CA125 in your blood can rise for many reasons including endometriosis, your period, ovarian cysts, and sometimes ovarian cancer. This is one reason why it can’t accurately be used as a screening test for ovarian cancer.

If the level of CA125 in your blood is 35 u/ml or higher, your GP should arrange for you to have an ultrasound scan. The ultrasound scan will create pictures of your ovaries so that they can be checked for anything unusual, and will help your GP to gather more information. In some areas of the UK, a CA125 blood test and ultrasound scan will be ordered at the same time.

Does a CA125 result below 35 u/ml mean that I don’t have ovarian cancer?

Most women with a result below 35 u/ml won’t have ovarian cancer. But a small number of women with ovarian cancer will have a CA125 test result below 35 u/ml.

If your symptoms continue or get worse then you must go back to your GP and let them know, and make an appointment for a check-up within one month.

Next steps

How do I get my test result?

Your GP will let you know how long your test result should take to come back from the lab, and they will also tell you how to find out the result of your test. At many GP surgeries you can register for online access to your record and to see your results so ask your surgery for further information if this is how you’d like to access them.

If you don’t hear anything within two weeks, give your GP a call. If you’ve received your test results and you’re not sure what they mean contact your GP and ask them to explain.

If your test result is above 35 u/ml your GP will arrange further tests or a follow-up appointment. 

What if my symptoms persist?

If your CA125 level is below 35 u/ml, but your symptoms continue or get worse then you must go back to tell your GP within a month. Why not keep a symptoms diary [PDF]? Make a quick note every day of each symptom and how bad it is. This might help your GP to identify the cause of your symptoms.

For more information on how to make the most of your GP appointment, see our top tips.

If you have further questions after reading this information, please speak to your GP or call our support line on 020 7923 5475.

Last reviewed: August 2022

This information is reviewed regularly and is in line with accepted national and international guidelines. All of our publications undergo an expert peer review and are reviewed by women with ovarian cancer to ensure that we provide accurate and high-quality information. To find out more take a look at our information standards.

Top 19 ca 125 what is considered high edit by Top Q&A

CA125 blood test – Macmillan Cancer Support

  • Author: macmillan.org.uk
  • Published Date: 06/28/2022
  • Review: 4.59 (506 vote)
  • Summary: This blood test checks for raised levels of a protein called CA125. It is normal to have some CA125 in the blood. But the levels may be higher if you have …
  • Matching search results: If you have one or more of these symptoms frequently and persistently it’s unlikely that you will have ovarian cancer, but your GP will want to rule out the possibility. The CA125 blood tests is a useful way to gather some more information and will …

Tumor marker CA 125 in diagnosis, monitoring management and follow-up of patients with ovarian tumors

  • Author: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Published Date: 06/07/2022
  • Review: 4.45 (530 vote)
  • Summary: In 75.7% of benign tumors CA 125 concentrations did not exceed the normal level. In two from five patients with borderline tumors CA 125 concentration varied …
  • Matching search results: If you have one or more of these symptoms frequently and persistently it’s unlikely that you will have ovarian cancer, but your GP will want to rule out the possibility. The CA125 blood tests is a useful way to gather some more information and will …

CA-125 Blood Test (Ovarian Cancer)

  • Author: medlineplus.gov
  • Published Date: 03/16/2022
  • Review: 4.39 (307 vote)
  • Summary: If you have a high risk for ovarian cancer or have a suspicious pelvic lump, a high CA-125 levels could be a sign of cancer. Your provider will …
  • Matching search results: If you have one or more of these symptoms frequently and persistently it’s unlikely that you will have ovarian cancer, but your GP will want to rule out the possibility. The CA125 blood tests is a useful way to gather some more information and will …

An existing blood test for ovarian cancer has been re-evaluated. The results are in

  • Author: news.cancerresearchuk.org
  • Published Date: 07/13/2022
  • Review: 4.17 (508 vote)
  • Summary: A high level of CA125 in your blood could be a sign of ovarian cancer. It can also be a result of other conditions such as endometriosis, …
  • Matching search results: Fiona has been cancer free since April 2019 and leads a fit and active life, working as a science teacher at her local school three days a week. She is monitored every 3 months by her consultant Professor James Brenton, a process which includes …

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CA 125 Ovarian Tumor Marker Blood Test

  • Author: medicinenet.com
  • Published Date: 06/09/2022
  • Review: 3.85 (414 vote)
  • Summary: The normal values for CA 125 may vary slightly among individual laboratories. In most laboratories, the normal value is 0 to 35 units/ml. QUESTION. Cancer is …
  • Matching search results: Fiona has been cancer free since April 2019 and leads a fit and active life, working as a science teacher at her local school three days a week. She is monitored every 3 months by her consultant Professor James Brenton, a process which includes …

Normal and abnormal values of CA 125 – a marker of ovarian

  • Author: vinmec.com
  • Published Date: 03/28/2022
  • Review: 3.66 (495 vote)
  • Summary: The normal threshold for CA 125 is 35 U/ml. In patients with ovarian cancer, CA 125 levels are often higher than normal. In addition, plasma CA 125 levels …
  • Matching search results: Fiona has been cancer free since April 2019 and leads a fit and active life, working as a science teacher at her local school three days a week. She is monitored every 3 months by her consultant Professor James Brenton, a process which includes …

CA-125 Blood Test: Results, Normal Range & What To Expect

  • Author: my.clevelandclinic.org
  • Published Date: 09/08/2022
  • Review: 3.56 (358 vote)
  • Summary: Generally, levels higher than 35 units per milliliter are considered irregular. However, high levels don’t mean you have cancer or that cancer …
  • Matching search results: Fiona has been cancer free since April 2019 and leads a fit and active life, working as a science teacher at her local school three days a week. She is monitored every 3 months by her consultant Professor James Brenton, a process which includes …

CA 125 – Tumour Marker Serum

  • Author: pathlabs.rlbuht.nhs.uk
  • Published Date: 02/02/2022
  • Review: 3.28 (316 vote)
  • Summary: Benign conditions which may have elevated CA 125: Elevated values may be found in 1 – 2 % normal healthy individuals. Blood for CA 125 should not be taken …
  • Matching search results: Fiona has been cancer free since April 2019 and leads a fit and active life, working as a science teacher at her local school three days a week. She is monitored every 3 months by her consultant Professor James Brenton, a process which includes …

Why Is My Doctor Testing My Blood for CA 125?

  • Author: emedicinehealth.com
  • Published Date: 11/24/2021
  • Review: 3.02 (499 vote)
  • Summary: The normal range for CA 125 is 0 to 35 units/ml. While a CA 125 level over 35 may indicate cancer, it does not always mean the person has cancer …
  • Matching search results: Fiona has been cancer free since April 2019 and leads a fit and active life, working as a science teacher at her local school three days a week. She is monitored every 3 months by her consultant Professor James Brenton, a process which includes …

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CA-125 Blood Test for Cancer Antigen 125 | CTCA

  • Author: cancercenter.com
  • Published Date: 07/19/2022
  • Review: 2.84 (107 vote)
  • Summary: This stands for cancer antigen 125, which is a glycoprotein found in the blood. Women with ovarian cancer sometimes have higher levels of CA-125, so it’s …
  • Matching search results: Fiona has been cancer free since April 2019 and leads a fit and active life, working as a science teacher at her local school three days a week. She is monitored every 3 months by her consultant Professor James Brenton, a process which includes …

Role of CA125 in predicting ovarian cancer survival – a review of the epidemiological literature

  • Author: ovarianresearch.biomedcentral.com
  • Published Date: 11/04/2022
  • Review: 2.72 (177 vote)
  • Summary: CA125 levels of less than 35 U/mL are now accepted as normal [21, 24]. When stratified by disease stage, elevated levels were found in more than …
  • Matching search results: Of the eight studies reviewed under the relationship between prechemotherapy absolute serum CA125 levels and survival, four were prospective, one retrospective, one convenience sample, one consecutive case series type of study. Six studies [37, 38, …

What to know about the cancer antigen 125 test

  • Author: medicalnewstoday.com
  • Published Date: 07/30/2022
  • Review: 2.72 (61 vote)
  • Summary: High CA-125 levels are commonly a sign of a noncancerous condition. However, high CA-125 levels may sometimes indicate a type of cancer, such as …
  • Matching search results: Of the eight studies reviewed under the relationship between prechemotherapy absolute serum CA125 levels and survival, four were prospective, one retrospective, one convenience sample, one consecutive case series type of study. Six studies [37, 38, …

CA 125 (Ovarian Cancer Marker) Test

  • Author: orangehealth.in
  • Published Date: 03/29/2022
  • Review: 2.55 (173 vote)
  • Summary: If your CA-125 values are higher than expected, you can have a condition that is not cancerous, or the test result could mean that you have ovarian, endometrial …
  • Matching search results: If you are undergoing ovarian cancer treatment, your doctors will compare your pre-treatment level of CA125 with subsequent test results. If CA125 values go down after an elevated result prior to treatment, this might indicate cancer treatment is …

CA 125: Reference Range, Interpretation, Collection and Panels

  • Author: emedicine.medscape.com
  • Published Date: 12/17/2021
  • Review: 2.56 (74 vote)
  • Summary: Cancer antigen 125 (CA 125) is the only tumor marker recommended for clinical use in the diagnosis and management of ovarian cancer. The …
  • Matching search results: If you are undergoing ovarian cancer treatment, your doctors will compare your pre-treatment level of CA125 with subsequent test results. If CA125 values go down after an elevated result prior to treatment, this might indicate cancer treatment is …

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What Is the CA-125 Test?

  • Author: webmd.com
  • Published Date: 08/17/2022
  • Review: 2.29 (57 vote)
  • Summary: A very high level of CA-125 is something the doctor will want to look into, but it doesn’t always mean you have ovarian cancer. One single test …
  • Matching search results: If you are undergoing ovarian cancer treatment, your doctors will compare your pre-treatment level of CA125 with subsequent test results. If CA125 values go down after an elevated result prior to treatment, this might indicate cancer treatment is …

Cancer antigen 125 (CA125) | Canadian Cancer Society

  • Author: cancer.ca
  • Published Date: 09/04/2022
  • Review: 2.3 (195 vote)
  • Summary: The CA125 blood levels can be increased in ovarian cancer and other cancers including: … A decrease in the CA125 level during treatment usually means that the …
  • Matching search results: If you are undergoing ovarian cancer treatment, your doctors will compare your pre-treatment level of CA125 with subsequent test results. If CA125 values go down after an elevated result prior to treatment, this might indicate cancer treatment is …

Cancer Antigen 125 (CA-125) Test | HealthLink BC

  • Author: healthlinkbc.ca
  • Published Date: 06/21/2022
  • Review: 2.29 (65 vote)
  • Summary: A value that isn’t in the normal range may still be normal for you. High values. Conditions other than cancer that can cause high CA-125 values may include:.
  • Matching search results: If you are undergoing ovarian cancer treatment, your doctors will compare your pre-treatment level of CA125 with subsequent test results. If CA125 values go down after an elevated result prior to treatment, this might indicate cancer treatment is …

CA125 test finds ovarian cancer in women with symptoms

  • Author: evidence.nihr.ac.uk
  • Published Date: 02/24/2022
  • Review: 2.17 (98 vote)
  • Summary: The study found that, especially when ovarian cancer has been ruled out, a high level of CA125 in a woman over 50 could suggest another type …
  • Matching search results: If you are undergoing ovarian cancer treatment, your doctors will compare your pre-treatment level of CA125 with subsequent test results. If CA125 values go down after an elevated result prior to treatment, this might indicate cancer treatment is …

CA 125 test – Mayo Clinic

  • Author: mayoclinic.org
  • Published Date: 09/03/2022
  • Review: 2.05 (100 vote)
  • Summary: If your CA 125 level is higher than expected, you may have a condition that isn’t cancerous, or the test result could mean that you have ovarian …
  • Matching search results: Conditions that can cause an increase in CA 125 include many that aren’t cancerous, such as menstruation and uterine fibroids. Certain cancers may also cause an increased level of CA 125, including ovarian, endometrial, peritoneal and fallopian tube …

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