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How do you find out you're cancer free?

Seraph98
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2012

I was diagnosed with stage 2C. I'm about to go into Round 5, my CA 125 is down to 78 from 485 so chemo seems to be working.

Since I'm nearing the end of treatment I was wondering what do they do to pronounce you cancer free? I'll try to remember to ask my Onc tomorrow but there are a lot of other questions I have for him, it may slip my mind.

Do they do scans, just blood work, both?

Thanks

Glad to be done's picture
Glad to be done
Posts: 558
Joined: Jul 2012

Seraph

When you are done (mine was 1 month after chemo ended) you will go in for a cat scan. If the scan comes back clear or NED (no evidence detected as we all say on here) you are cancer free.. They will continue to monitor you with blood work and scans to keep an eye on you in case of recurrence.

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1053
Joined: Sep 2010

I don't think they ever really say you are cancer free, just as they don't ever really say you are cured. They can do a scan to determine whether there is no evidence of disease. But it is assumed that there are still cancer cells in your system that could trigger a recurrance.

Seraph98
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2012

One part of my diagnosis was that there were free floating cancer cells in my peritoneum. That's the main reason I get the IP chemo twice a round. My CA 125 continues to come down and is almost normal with two rounds to go. I asked my Onc yesterday about what he does at the end and he really stressed that they prefer to go by the CA 125 and not subject me to radiation unless there appears to be a reason.

So, after my CA 125 goes down I guess I'll be considered probably cured... but like you said a recurrence could happen.

Mwee's picture
Mwee
Posts: 1312
Joined: Nov 2009

They don't really use words like cured, unfortunately. It's more like NED (no evidence of disease). Your CA-125s will be checked at post chemo ONCs appts. and you'll be monitored closely for for as often and as long as you need. The chemo you're taking will go after any stray cells. I'm a six year survivor and as hard as it is to do, try to concentrate on the excellent news that the chemo is getting you closer to the normal CA-125 range, take great care of yourself and try not to stress too much. We'll be right here every step of the way.
(((HUGS))) Maria

kimberly sue 63's picture
kimberly sue 63
Posts: 389
Joined: Apr 2012

all of us probably had positive cancer cells in the peritoneum because there is cancer on the organs residing in that area. My washings were also positive. But it makes sense because think about cancer on your ovary and it sits there and sheds to the peritoneum. Also, when they check that it is a wash and then they check the fluid they pull out. Kim

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