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great news! I think?

A1pena's picture
Posts: 93
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi There,

Wanted to share some great news we got from our medical oncologist- my mom's CA 125 number went from 240 to 220 to 118 and now to 27!!!! She is at 27! so excited about it, its been kind of weird though because on the same day we got the great news, we had an appointment with her gyn/onc at UCSF. She was concerned because our chemo doc had switched her from weekly carbo/taxol after 7 weeks to doxil without a ct scan. They switched her because she developed a fever. SOO we dont know if it was the carbo/taxol that got her number down or the doxil. She insists on getting a CT scan this week before her 2nd infusion of doxil in order to get some sort of baseline but her chemo doc wants to give her two more infusions before we get the ct scan- do we listen to her gyn/onc or her chemo doctor?

One more thing- her gyn/onc wants to do radiation whereas her chemo doc is against it- what are your thoughts on radiation? whole abdominal? brachy?

ugh- this is so confusing! and it doesnt help when two doctors we highly respect dont agree!!

Kind Regards,


jazzy1's picture
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

That is wonderful news when CA 125 goes down...shows the treatments are working. One thing I did learn was the CA 125 isn't always a good marker, but in my case it showed before treatments 400+, then it kept going down to 4 after all treatments were completed. Doc can use this as a great marker as it shows how treatments affect it in a positive way. I had my last chemo July '09 and it's still at 3.

I have similar cancer as you mom, as had 2 small tumors in uterus and it spread to only 1 pelvic lymph node. Since it spread I had to have radiation and chemo. We did radiation sandwiched between 3 chemo at beginning and 3 at end. Radiation (33 rounds external) was required in pelvic area as that's where the lymph node was located with cancer. Had to zap that area a bit more due to this fact.

Don't know anything about which of your docs to believe. Just can give you what happened in my case and pray you receive good direction. I was glad to have it all over with, but will tell you I feel the radiation was worse than chemo. My energy level was as low as ever in my life and the bowels were just challenged that had to be close to bathroom always. Better today but still a little fast, if catch my drift!

Best to you and glad your mom is having such good success!


Posts: 683
Joined: Apr 2010

When I was diagnosed first gyn told me have hyst and done you don't even have to have Chemo. Second opinion great gyn/onc said stage 1a total hyst and Chemo and maybe radiation. From day one chemo doc said no to the radiation. So I waited and see. At the end of chemo and first examination gyn/onc. said "NO radiation" So I did listen to my gyn/onc. Yes it is very confusing. From what I understand stage 1a does not require treatment especially since it did not spread, but my gyn/onc said just to be on the safe side especially since it was a very aggressive cancer. I wish you and your mom all the best. June

norma2's picture
Posts: 486
Joined: Aug 2009

Had the same experience, to radiate or not to radiate. My gyn/oncologist wanted more chemo. The radiologist thought abdominal radiation was needed due to the one lymph gland showing cancer. Radiologist won, had cisplatin chemo during the 25 external radiation. Then 3 of the taxol/carbol. I think it depends on so many factors that it is hard to compare each person's treatment. I will say the chemo was a walk in the park compared to the radiation. I had horrible diahrrea. Learned every rest room at MD Anderson. Even thought of writing a visitor's guide to them. It got better after a few weeks. Now have no residual problems so far from the radiation. Last one was Dec 21, 09.

I hope things go well for your Mom, dear. Let us know how it goes; will be thinking of you.

Posts: 21
Joined: Jan 2010

I have just been wrestling with whether or not to have radiation. Like you, I have found lots of differing opinions. I actually sought several opinions and learned a lot from each oncologist. The main theme however was that there was definitely not a consensus and the recommendations were nearly evenly split.
Although I believe radiation can improve the statistics for not having a recurrence in most cases, I have finally decided against the radiation. The decision was certainly difficult, but I have some other bowel and bladder issues that would make radiation riskier.
I wish you well in your decision....I know first hand that it is not an easy one.

Kaleena's picture
Posts: 2064
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello Amanda:

Just keep in mind that once you have done brachy radiation, that will be the only time. It is a one shot deal. Also, check to see where they do radiation because it is also a one shot deal. You may want to wait and use radiation later if you really need it. Just a thought. Check with your radiologist.


Songflower's picture
Posts: 631
Joined: Apr 2009

Brachytherapy keeps it from coming back in the vagina and cervical area. The problem with external beam is that if you have a recurrance the radiation also kills pelvic bone marrow and then you need chemo but your body is unable to make White Cells as well. It was explained to me that if it recurs in the pelvis it can be cured. Also with external you can have bladder and bowel fistulas over time. Some specialists don't recommend radiation at all but close observation. Of course I believe it is a decision best made depending upon your stage. I just had brachytherapy.

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