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rising ca-125

Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2005

First,I want to say how helpful this message board has been to me. I always look to this website has another research tool to help fight this awful disease. My mother was diagnosed with OVCA Stage IIIC in Jan 2004. After the first chemothherapy her CA-125 level was under 35. She has been in remission since with an average CA-125 level of around 7. It has jumped to 12 once and it has gone down to 4. On September 20, 2005 her CA-125 level shot to 19. I am going crazy because everything I have read indicates that it is back. But the doctors told her to come back in a month and not to worry! My mom has diverticulosis which can aggravate the pertional cavity which the doctors say could cause the ca-125 to rise. Has anyone every heard of this? Did anyone have a ca-125 that rose and has come back down? Thank you so much for reading and responding. I am so worried.I wish I can take this battle on for her.

Posts: 93
Joined: Jul 2005

I'm sorry to hear about your Mom. Years ago I had an elevated CEA. It's sort of like the CA-125 but it's for cancer of the colon and other cancers. It can be elevated by diverticulosis, so that could cause the CA-125 to go up also. I was diagnosed in Dec.2004 and mine is already starting to climb. If mine starts to go back down, I'll sure let you know. Mine is up from 8.79 to 20.39 at last check. I wish you both the best! Paula

Posts: 1995
Joined: May 2003

I feel for you, as a survivor myself, and having lost my mother to colon cancer last October. But I agree with Paula that the levels can go up for a variety of reasons, even because of a simple infection such as a cold. Mine always went up and down - they mainly want to see it go down after it goes up. However, mine has been on a steady rise, which raises concerns. I will probably be facing surgery again (but hopefully not chemo). All of us here have plenty of stores about the ups and downs of our CA125. It can especially rise right after surgery.

I'll keep your mom in prayer. In the meantime, if you have confidence in the doctor (and hopefully a foundation of faith), follow up with him/her. You're wonderful for being so supportive to your mom and researching this for her. Come back and visit us again and let us know how she's doing.


Posts: 650
Joined: Mar 2003

My CA-125 has never been as low as 7 and has usually been from 14 to 17. So many things can affect it! I'd say it sounds as though your mom is doing well, albeit the diverticulosis is a problem unto itself. My mom has something related to it, and she spent time in the hospital with her trouble while I was in for my hysterectomy. Not a good time for my family, but 3 years later, we're feeling pretty scrappy again.

Don't worry unless those levels get much higher!

JanQ's picture
Posts: 238
Joined: Jan 2004

I was dx in December 03 StageIIIC Ovarian I am sorry to hear about your mother could I ask her age? I was 46 when I was dx.You say she has diverticulitis, they do say stress illness ect. will contribute to a rise in CA125. I have been going through the same thing,my count was down to 11 in Jan. it is climbing in Aug. it was 26.2. They cked in Sept and it was 27.7,they act like I should not be concerned so I am trusting them to know. Hope this helps.Jan

Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2005

Thank so much for your emails. Sometimes instead of hearing it from the doctor you need to hear it from other strong ovca survivors. All of you are in my prayers and please let me know how you are doing. Jan Q - my mom was 58 was she was diagnosed.

Posts: 13
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi, I am currently going through chemo for Stage 3c ovarian cancer. My CA-125 is down to 17 and my Doc tells me that anything between 0-35 is a normal reading for this test. I am sure it will vary in this normal range, but he has told me I should not be concerned unless it rises above the normal limits for the test. Hope this helps!

dcd2435's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2005

Hi all....I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in dec of 2004. Had carbo-platin and taxol for 6 months and now Im in remission. My CA-125 dropped immediately upon chemo down from 864 to 15. It was within the normal range for all 6 months during chemo. You could have a CA-125 3 times in 1 day and you would get 3 different readings. I was worried everymonth because the numbers were all over the map. HOWEVER, 15-13-19-10-7-and 12 I think. I have a prominent doctor in Boston and he says because these numbers are all close together, I shouldnt worry. So, basically, as long as they are all within 0-35 everybody is ok! Hope this helps.

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