Tumour marker blood tests for pancreatic cancer

Tumour markers are chemicals that can show up in a blood test. Many pancreatic cancers produce a tumour marker called CA 19-9.

What is a tumour marker?

Some types of cancer produce chemicals that can show up in the blood on a blood test. These chemicals are called tumour markers.

Many pancreatic cancers produce a tumour marker called CA 19-9.

CA 19-9 and pancreatic cancer

Your doctor may test a sample of your blood for CA 19-9. This can sometimes help diagnose pancreatic cancer. But some people who have pancreatic cancer do not have raised levels of CA 19-9.

Also, other conditions, such as jaundice that has not been caused by cancer, may cause high levels of CA 19-9. Doctors will consider these things when looking at your test results.

Doctors may also measure your level of CA 19-9 during treatment and follow-up. This is because it can also show how pancreatic cancer is responding to treatment.