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altc321 (@altc321)

Why CA-19-9 Test not included in annual lab tests

Pancreatic Cancer | Last Active: Dec 3, 2023 | Replies (18)

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@ncteacher

I'm certainly no expert, but I suspect no tumor markers are routinely drawn at annual checkups. Tumor markers are usually described as lousy for definitive diagnosis, but good for tracking treatment progress. Years ago, when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I didn't have the CA-125 tumor marker drawn until after they'd done the ultrasound imaging and I was in the gyn onc's office. This year, my CA 19-9 wasn't drawn until after I was determined to have the ATM mutation. Could you convince your PCP to draw those labs? Maybe, but I wonder whether insurance would pay for them.

I'm sorry for your situation and hope you can get good results from treatment.

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Replies to "I'm certainly no expert, but I suspect no tumor markers are routinely drawn at annual checkups...."

The gastrointestinal doctors I’ve spoken with say CA 19-9 is not a diagnostic test for PC absent other symptoms. Certainly, insurance won’t pay absent other symptoms; however, it’s an inexpensive test--$50.00 or so-- if lab self-referral is permitted in your state. (Walk-In-Lab is one of many online ordering sites, https://www.walkinlab.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjw38SoBhB6EiwA8EQVLksrl24yZc0t_DG_vMqrjMtzLU1aYDpyguCW6--EXfYvWh6pf0tkOBoC4t0QAvD_BwE).

As to the issue of lab self-referrals, see this Medscape article and the associated comments (often the most interesting part): “Laboratory Testing: No Doctor Required?” https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/996528. You can register for free with Medscape to view this and many other interesting medical articles, written for health professionals but nonetheless revealing for the layperson (like me). Also, the Medscape website provides detailed “work-up” regimes (written for docs) for most every medical condition.