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.

How we can help

Macmillan Cancer Support Line
The Macmillan Support Line offers confidential support to people living with cancer and their loved ones. If you need to talk, we'll listen.
0808 808 00 00
7 days a week, 8am - 8pm
Email us
Get in touch via this form
Chat online
7 days a week, 8am - 8pm
Online Community
An anonymous network of people affected by cancer which is free to join. Share experiences, ask questions and talk to people who understand.
Help in your area
What's going on near you? Find out about support groups, where to get information and how to get involved with Macmillan where you live.