1. I have a strong family history of breast cancer. Shouldn’t I be screened for CA 15-3?
CA 15-3 is not recommended as a screening tool to detect early breast cancer. Increases in CA 15-3 may be due to other causes, and negative results do not accurately predict the absence of cancer. It should only be used after breast cancer has been diagnosed.
There is nothing you can do directly to lower your CA 15-3 concentration. It is not a risk factor like cholesterol that can be lowered through dietary restrictions and exercise. It is a reflection of what is going on in your body. CA 15-3 may rise with tumour growth and fall with treatment, or it may be mildly elevated and stable in a benign condition.
This article was last reviewed on 19 September 2011. | This article was last modified on 25 March 2013.
The review date indicates when the article was last reviewed from beginning to end to ensure that it reflects the most current science. A review may not require any modifications to the article, so the two dates may not always agree.
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