My husband was diagnosed with an Unknown Primary cancer.  Lymph node in left side of neck was found malignant, but all CTs cannot detect any cancer.  His bloodwork is excellent.  But his CA-19 came back today at 203.  It was 0 when we started out then climbed as high as 1400 and then dropped to 256 then down to 35.  Next is was 56 then 126.  Why the up and down on the CA19 if cancer cannot be found.  His onocologist here says it has to be Pancreatic Cancer, but no one can find it.  He has been instructed to do chemo every other week for a maintenance program.  I am not understanding the CA19 test reading if there is no primary.  Can anything else be causing this CA19 to elevate?  He feels great, eating well,  no pain.  Any suggestions from anyone?  Just needing to know if this marker is what we should be watching all the time as blood work otherwise is great.  Thank you.



  • Kaleena
    Kaleena Member Posts: 2,083 Member
    My husband went a whole year

    My husband went a whole year after they did several biopsies and it was coming back as inconclusiv.   His CA-19 was always in the normal range.   However a year later after another biopsy it came back as pancreatic cancer.  He had the Whipple procedure over 2 years ago   He had chemo both before and after chemo.  He is doing fine.  

    his started out as a blockage in his duct.


  • StageIVSurvivor
    StageIVSurvivor Member Posts: 19 Member
    edited October 2021 #3

    This scientific abstract provides insight into other possible causes of elevated CA19-9 in the absence of primary disease-


  • StageIVSurvivor
    StageIVSurvivor Member Posts: 19 Member
    Elevated CA19-9 due to black tea consumption

    Link to the scientific abstract on excessive black tea consumption as one cause of elevated CA19-9 marker