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HomeAnswersMedical Gastroenterologycancer antigenWhat causes elevated levels of CA-19 tumor marker?

What is the significance of an elevated CA-19 tumor marker?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At May 8, 2016
Reviewed AtFebruary 7, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I have a question regarding the significance of an elevated CA-19 tumor marker. I recently had one and that came back as 43 (per laboratory should have been under 34). I do not have cancer and I am wondering what else could cause this elevation? Please help.


Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • CA 19-9 (cancer antigen) is a tumor marker, but it can be elevated in healthy individual.
  • If you are asymptomatic like no history of weight loss and anorexia then no need to worry.
  • If you have worried symptoms like significant weight loss and anorexia then you need evaluation.

Investigations to be done

CBC (complete blood count), LFT (liver function test) and USG (ultrasonography) of abdomen.

Regarding follow up

Revert back after the tests to a medical gastroenterologist online.---> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/medical-gastroenterologist

Patient's Query

Thank you doctor,

I will follow up with my PCP as I do have some symptoms. I have a history of ulcers and gastritis and I am wondering if that could cause an elevation. I have also read that reduced lung function can cause it. Is that true? I have a paralyzed diaphragm from nerve damage sustained during heart surgery and as a result my lung capacity is only about 60 percent.


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • History of ulcer, gastritis and reduced lung function does not cause elevation of CA 19-9.

For further doubts consult a medical gastroenterologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/medical-gastroenterologist

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Pardhan Rajesh Kumar
Dr. Pardhan Rajesh Kumar

Medical Gastroenterology

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