Jun 14, 2012 - 1:51 am
I'd like to set the record straight on the CA125 test from my point of view ... obviously!
Some women who are diagnosed with ovarian/primary peritoneal cancer at a late stage have a normal CA125 reading throughout the course of their treatment. This was the case with me and remains the case.
However, if the CA125 reading is elevated at the time of diagnosis, then this marker can be a useful indicator that the disease is stable or is on the move. A high CA125 reading in this case can also mean that the disease is stable but that there is something else going on. For example, a woman who has ovarian cancer and who has an elevated CA125 doesn't necessarily need cancer treatment. She may have another benign condition such as fibroids or endometriosis.
When I began to ask for my CA125 reading, I was told that the result wasn't available. Since then, I've learnt that the result isn't given to women as having it without other information can make them unnecessarily anxious. I can't understand why patients would be sent their CA125 result in the mail so that they can open it up as if they were about to see whether they had passed an exam or not. Then there's the waiting for the post and the expectation dashed or not.
I think paying too much attention to the CA125 test can be an invasion into a time in a woman's life which is precious. For me, between chemos is my space to live normally. Well, not normally in any sense exactly but not having to wait for doctors appointments, treatments, CT scan appointments and the like gives me some time to try to forget what is happening to me.