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How does the CA 19-9 marker help diagnose pancreatic cancer?

If you are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, your physician may use changes in your CA 19-9 levels to determine if your tumor is remaining stable, progressing, or responding to treatment. Your doctor may take a baseline CA 19-9 level before surgery or before beginning a cycle of chemotherapy. If your CA 19-9 levels decrease after treatment, that typically indicates a positive response. If after several cycles of chemotherapy your CA 19-9 levels remain the same, that indicates your cancer is stable. If, however, your CA 19-9 levels rise, that can indicate either a recurrence of your cancer or that you are no longer responding to your current treatment plan.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.