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Confused - CA125 increased after debulking

Posts: 8
Joined: Dec 2012

First, I'd like to say how much help this group has already been and thank you!


My Mom, a young 71, was diagnosed with peritoneal cancer last month (Nov. 2012).  Her CA125 was 5,338 November 24, 2012.  The doctor first suspected ovarian cancer, but after surgery to remove as much of the cancer has possible, he said the ovaries were only minimally affected and that it presented itself to be peritoneal cancer.


The doctor said he was able to removed 95% of the cancer, but explained the remaining cancer was like paint splatter.  There is cancer on the outer surface of all of her abdonial organs, but he said it hadn't invaded any of the organs.  Her omentum was removed along with a full hysterecomy, appendectomy, and the removal of some lympnodes.


She had labs redrawn December 18, 2012 and her CA125 has risen to 5,427.


Please help me to understand this.  In my mind, I was expecting to see the number somewhat lower.


Thank you,



JulieL's picture
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Hi Sheila

It is not unusual for CA125 to rise after surgery.  My surgeon warned me of this and sure enough mine had dropped from 653 to 16 after 4 rounds of carbo/taxol and I then had debulking surgery and up it went to 167 however it then continued to drop again with a further 3 rounds of carbo/taxol to 21.   Don't panic!  Good wishes and positive thoughts for the New Year.


Posts: 8
Joined: Dec 2012

That does make me feel better!  Thank you!  I just couldn't understand it...  And, without knowing anyone who's been on the same road, there's no one to ask.  That's what has made this group such a help already!  Mom doesn't get on the computer on her own, but we talk about all of this together and I just want you to know what an encouragement this has been to her.  She's such a positive, go-getter type.  Nobody believes she's 71.  Her co-workers told her today they can't wait until she comes back to work.

Thank you and wishing you great things in the new year!



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