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BMJ. 1996 Nov 30;313(7069):1355-8.

Risk of diagnosis of ovarian cancer after raised serum CA 125 concentration: a prospective cohort study.

Author information

1
Department of Gynaecological Oncology, St Bartholomew's Hospital, London.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the risk of invasive epithelial ovarian cancer and fallopian tube cancer associated with a raised concentration of the tumour marker CA 125 in asymptomatic postmenopausal women.

DESIGN:

Serum CA 125 concentration was measured annually in study participants for one to four years. Participants with a concentration > or = 30 U/ml were recalled for abdominal ultrasonography. Follow up was by annual postal questionnaire.

SETTING:

General practice, occupational health departments, ovarian cancer screening unit in a teaching hospital.

SUBJECTS:

22,000 volunteers, all postmenopausal women > or = 45 years of age; recruited between 1 June 1986 and 1 May 1990.

INTERVENTION:

Surgical investigation if the ultrasound examination was abnormal.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Cumulative and relative risk of developing an index cancer (invasive epithelial cancer of the ovary or fallopian tube) after a specified CA 125 result.

RESULTS:

49 index cancers developed in the study population during a mean follow up of 6.76 years. The overall cumulative risk of developing an index cancer was 0.0022 for the entire study population and was lower for women with a serum CA 125 concentration < 30 U/ml (cumulative risk 0.0012) but was appreciably increased for women with a concentration > or = 30 U/ml (0.030) and > 100 U/ml (0.149). Compared with the entire study population the relative risk of developing an index cancer within one year and five years was increased 35.9-fold (95% confidence interval 18.3 to 70.4) and 14.3-fold (8.5 to 24.3) respectively after a serum CA 125 concentration > or = 30 U/ml and 204.8-fold (79.0 to 530.7) and 74.5-fold (31.1 to 178.3) respectively after a concentration > or = 100 U/ml.

CONCLUSION:

CA 125 is a powerful index of risk of ovarian and fallopian tube cancer in asymptomatic postmenopausal women.

PMID:
8956699
PMCID:
PMC2352927
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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