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CA 125 - range of levels

Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2007

Hi I am new . A stage 4 OC and with 548 CA125 level after first chemo cycle with carbo/taxol .
I am trying to find the highest levels known at the start of chemo .
can someone please give me some pointer .
Thanks a lot .

Posts: 485
Joined: Sep 2006

Welcome to the site,sorry we have to meet under these conditions. Please don't put alot of stock in the ca-125 #. it just means that your disease puts out alot of proteins that the test picks up on. I know of a girl with a ca-125 of 4050,and she was staged a 1c. For me my cancer doesn't put out alot of proteins, but I'm having a recurrence right now with a ca-125 of 54. It's a tricky little test to understand, but the numbers sometimes have very little to do with the volume of disease present. Good luck...and again welcome..(((hugz)))...Joanne

curlee8661's picture
Posts: 56
Joined: May 2007

Hi Madona,
Welcome! I'm sorry you have the need to be here, but this is a great place to get answers and find support. My oncologist seemed concerned with my numbers not dropping much after the first chemo, but after the second treatment there was a BIG change. I asked him some questions based on my initial numbers, and he ended up telling me that he has seen them go above 5,000. But, like Joanne said, these numbers are just a guesstimate at best. They do NOT necessarily reflect the amount of cancer remaining. Try not to worry too much! Just focus on getting through treatment for now!


saundra's picture
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mar 2007

Welcome to this site. It has helped me in everyway. I am Stage IV also, diagnosed March 2, 2007. I had 3 liver tumors which put me in the 4th stage. Am considered tumor free and in remission now after 8 chemos, debulking surgery and radio freq. ablation of the liver tumors. I started with a CA-125 of 2988 and am now at a 5 but my oncologist thinks it is a good indicator for my cancer cells, but not everyone's. E mail me if you have any questions. Saundra

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Posts: 277
Joined: Sep 2007

I am Stage IIIc, I was 1632 at the time of surgery and as of 2 weeks ago was 6.9

Your CA 125 is your "marker" -you watch it go down with each treatment cycle and the norms are from 0-35 or 0-21,depending on what your doctor uses.

Best of luck with your treatments and keep posting. You'll get a lot of support here. Take care.

Posts: 146
Joined: Jul 2010

My daughter has 3c ovarian cancer and started out with almost 6000 CA 125 count. After two rounds of chemo, her CA 125 showed 167.

leesag's picture
Posts: 626
Joined: Jan 2010

My CA125 was 9824 at diagnosis and is currently 12 4 months after chemo.


Posts: 146
Joined: Jul 2010

Love the news!

Posts: 122
Joined: Feb 2010

I was and am still stage 4 OC diagnosed 4/09. My CA125 was 2300 and now at 1150 after 3 different chemos. I'm getting ready to finish Topotekan and will be going to Gemcarz (sp)Hanging in there. Don't rely much on the CA125 stick to the cat scan

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

I think it must be a good marker for me. Before surgery, it was 4,000 and my nadir, about 60 days after I finished the Carbo/Taxol regimen, was 3.8

It has stayed pretty stable for the last 3 months, just below 7. But I am still getting Taxol (monthly) as maintenance, so that may be keeping the CA125 down.

I am still getting monthly blood draws but after I finish the maintenance, my doctor's protocol is every 3 months. I am going to ask him to leave me on monthly checks, and maybe he will compromise at every 60 days.


Tina Brown's picture
Tina Brown
Posts: 1054
Joined: Nov 2009

I am the other way round. My CT scan showed little change from when I finished treatment and my CA125 was 34 at it's lowest. But now my Current CA125 is 1,280.


vj1's picture
Posts: 151
Joined: Jun 2010

This is a mystery. I am reading how many of you had very high CA125 at dx. I was dx with stage 3C. My ca125 was 111 (yes I have checked and rechecked the reports) Since chemo which finished last Nov I am holding at 5.2. It drops a bit with each 3 month draw. Anyone have any insight on this? I was told it would go up and down a bit even when NED.
Some of these numbers I am seeing are staggering. I keep dreaming that my initial count was because I did not have stage 3. Some dream huh? There are days I just want to throw the signals, etc out the window.


Hissy_Fitz's picture
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

Unfortunately, the CA125 count has nothing to do with staging. Or maybe I should say fortunately, since mine was 4,000.

The CA125 is your body's response to an enzyme produced by the Cancer. Some people react very strongly and some don't. Also, infections, bowel obstructions, etc can cause a jump in the numbers.

Mine has bounced, roughly, between 4 and 7 for the last 7 months.


Tina Brown's picture
Tina Brown
Posts: 1054
Joined: Nov 2009

I was interested to read your views on CA125. Not sure if you've read any of my posts but my recent CA 125 has jumped from 71 to 1,280 in 2 months. However my CT scan looks relatively unchanged??? I am having bloating which I now realise is wind as my bowle movements are more frequent and smaller amounts are passed. My onc was unable to tell me exactly why the jump was so high yet the scan did not match and has put me on Caelyx (which I beleive is Doxil)

Do you think I may have a partial bowel obstruction? I am going mad here - it is very difficult to get hold of my onc as they are so busy. If so would that resolve itself once chemo starts? I know I should speak to my onc but I left a message last week and still not heard anything.

Thanks Tina x

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

Tina....a total bowel obstruction (and I speak from experience here) is very painful; you would definitely know if you had one.

I really think a BO would have shown up on your CT. Mine was diagnosed via a plain old xray.

Will your doctors consider doing a PET scan? They might get something to light up on a PET scan that the CT scan is just not seeing.

I think your doctor has done the right thing by putting you back on chemo. That's very proactive of him, considering that your CT scan was clear. He is evidently thinking that the Cancer is active again, but very early and just not showing up yet on the scan.

Was 71 your nadir (lowest) CA125?


Tina Brown's picture
Tina Brown
Posts: 1054
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Carlene

I have quite alot of gas and bloating. The noises that the gas make are quite loud and bubbly and when I need to use the bathroom I have to go quick. But I don't always pass alot & I may have to go 2 or 3 times in quick succession & then I'm alright. This often happens shortly after I've eaten.

After chemo ended my CA125 went like this: 70, 34, 71, 1,280 - present reading.

Thanks Carlene

Posts: 8
Joined: Mar 2010

my grandma's initial levels were 458

mukesh kumar
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2016

hi.im new.my mom is diagnoised with OC and her CA125 is 17000 after 20 chemos.is there any problem further.i want to know that can it be cured..anythings to worry..thank u


Posts: 68
Joined: Feb 2016

My CA-125 was 308 when diagnosed, stage 4.  I just finished treatment 8 weeks ago and it never went below 90.  I am scheduled for a PET Scan to rule out anything that chemo missed.

I don't have any symptoms of cancer (at least I don't think I do), my bowels are normal, no painful gas, normal pee.  The only thing that really concerns me is that I had a pleural effusion, and there is pressure where the injection site was for my thoracentesis.  Other than that, I have no issues with breathing, I am running C25K, and have really good energy levels (for having been through 18 rounds of chemo-- weekly).

azgrandma's picture
Posts: 590
Joined: Feb 2010

mine was 4500

Posts: 9
Joined: Mar 2016

Wow what flucuations of the CA125.  I was told not to depend to much on the numbers but----   I started out at 1500 in Sept 2015 had 2 carbo/taxil treatments, emergency surgery for blocked small bowel, 12/22 resumed chemo with CA125 at 138.3, last chemo 2/2 with CA125 78.8. Lowest was 2/29. Never got down to the normal range below 35. Had a CScan which showed tumors on liver and lower abdomen.  Started on Gemzar in June.  It continued to rise is now at 151.2.  Oncologist recommends changing to Doxil. I don't like the side effects but we gotta do what we gotta do.  Hopefully this will work.  My prognosis is not a cure just keeping the evil stuff under control and be happy with good quality of life.  Blessings on all of you on this journey

Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2016


kikz's picture
Posts: 1342
Joined: Jun 2010

This a very old thread and many of these lovely women are no longer with us.  You should try a new post so you can get a response from current members.  Unfortunately this board is not as active as it was when I joined in 2010.  It was extremely helpful to me.  I wish you well.  Yesterday I had my first infusion for my sixth go round with chemo.


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