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Just started chemo, CA-125 rising?

Posts: 32
Joined: Sep 2012

Hello everybody,

I've been reading all the new posts and cheering for the good news and hoping and praying for the best for those who are having tougher times.

Quick question about CA-125?

I now have 1 chemo session under my belt, and 1 week until session 2. Actually feeling much better, ascites has not come back, so better appetite, no heartburn, and I have more energy. So all good things, yes?

But looking at my clinicals, my CA-125 has risen from 305 before chemo, 383 before 1st session, and now 395 after 1st session.

Should I be worried that my protocol isn't working, (even though I feel much better), or am I just getting way ahead of myself?

I did read something (ACS) about rising levels at the beginning of chemo CAN mean that the chemo is causing a lot of cancer cells to die and release large amounts of the marker into the blood, which will cause the level of the tumor marker to rise for a short time.

Anybody have experience/knowledge of how much to worry about tumor markers?

Thanks all - I will try not post so many questions but just such a clueless newbie at this point!



txtrisha55's picture
Posts: 696
Joined: Apr 2011

Maybe it is a sign of something else. Mine is not a real good marker for me. It was 15 before surgery and jumped to 169 before the first chemo. Dr said that is was because they were inside me during surgery and anything going on in your abdomen can affect it. It has since come down to 12 now over a year out of last chemo treatment. Good Luck with you news once you find out what is cause it to rise. trisha

Posts: 32
Joined: Sep 2012

Thanks for the reply, Trisha

I did have a number of tests right before I started chemo - a colonosccopy, paracentesis for the ascites, a biopsy of my omentum,etc., so maybe that stirred something up. I go for bloodwork every Wed so I think I'll just ask & see if I can get an answer instead of "stewing" about it.

I do know the tumor markers can't necessarily be taken as gospel - lots of scholarly articles about that.

take care all,


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