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Cancer Antigen 27.29 Blood Test

Last updated March 23, 2018

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH

Blood work in laboratory.

What are the other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • CA 27.29 Blood Test

What is Cancer Antigen 27.29 Blood Test? (Background Information)

  • Cancer antigen 27.29 (CA 27.29) is a type of protein released into blood by cancer cells. It indicates the presence of cancer, particularly breast cancer. This makes it useful as a tumor marker
  • An antigen is a compound that is recognized by the immune system of the body. The bodily defense proteins that recognize antigens are called antibodies. The cancer antigen 27.29 is made by a gene called the MUC-1 gene
  • The Cancer Antigen 27.29 Blood Test measures the level of cancer antigen 27.29 in blood. It is used to monitor cancer, especially breast cancer

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the Cancer Antigen 27.29 Blood Test?

Following are the clinical indications for performing the Cancer Antigen 27.29 Blood Test:

  • Determining if a cancer has spread, prior to initiating treatment
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of cancer therapy
  • Determining if a cancer has returned or spread after treatment

How is the Specimen Collected for Cancer Antigen 27.29 Blood Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for Cancer Antigen 27.29 Blood Test:

Sample required: Blood

Process of obtaining blood sample in adults:

  • A band is wrapped around the arm, 3-4 inches above the collection site (superficial vein that lies within the elbow pit)
  • The site is cleaned with 70% alcohol in an outward spiral, away from the zone of needle insertion
  • The needle cap is removed and is held in line with the vein, pulling the skin tight
  • With a small and quick thrust, the vein is penetrated using the needle
  • The required amount of blood sample is collected by pulling the plunger of the syringe out slowly
  • The wrap band is removed, gauze is placed on the collection site, and the needle is removed
  • The blood is immediately transferred into the blood container, which has the appropriate preservative/clot activator/anti-coagulant
  • The syringe and the needle are disposed into the appropriate “sharp container” for safe and hygienic disposal

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the Cancer Antigen 27.29 Blood Test Result?

  • High levels of cancer antigen 27.29 in blood may indicate breast cancer or other types of cancer such as pancreatic, liver, colorectal, or ovarian
  • An increased CA 27.29 Blood Test can also occur in benign conditions such as benign ovarian cysts, benign breast, liver, and liver conditions
  • The test is useful in an individual diagnosed with cancer. It has no diagnostic value in benign conditions and hence, it is not used to monitor progression or treatment of benign conditions

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • Certain factors influence the results of the Cancer Antigen 27.29 Blood Test. These include treatment with mouse antigens, which may cause a false-positive result. Your healthcare provider will help explain the false-positive results

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

Please visit our Laboratory Procedures Center for more physician-approved health information:


References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Aug. 25, 2015
Last updated: March 23, 2018