The normal range of cancer antigen 19-9 is less than 37 units per milliliter for both men and women, according to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Not every patient with pancreatic cancer has an elevated CA19-9 level.
Some healthy people have elevated CA 19-9 levels caused by benign conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease, liver cirrhosis and cystic fibrosis, according to a study published on PubMed.
For patients with a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, the CA19-9 test is used to determine if tumors are growing, remaining stable or getting smaller. Decline of CA19-9 numbers followed by an increase may indicate that tumors have returned, according to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.