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CA 125???
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CA 125???

Hello,
I was wondering if anyone can answer this question about the ca 125 blood test. Does the level of the ca 125 blood test continue to rise over serial checks if a woman has ovarian cancer? For example, if the level starts out at 55 and stays around the same on serial checks for over 8 months does this indicate that ovarian cancer is not present and that something else is causing the rise?
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Avatar_f_tn
You have not given enough information.. ie... what is your age?  Are you pre or post menopausal?  Do you have endometriosis?   There are many factors for a high ca 125 that is not ovarian cancer.. What are your symptoms?  What does your gyno say?  Have you been sent to a gynecological oncologist?
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry, here is the additional information. I am 37 and I recently (3 months ago) had a lap to to check for endometriosis. I was was having mild pelvic pain and an elevated ca 125 at the level of 58. The ultrasound at cat scan came back normal prior to the lap. My gyn found a small patch of endo in the cul-de-sac and lasered it off. She said everything else was normal (ie. no cysts or growths and or any ovarian diease). About a month ago I started having more pain in the area of my right ovary that went into my lower right back area. I went back to my gyn and she did a pelvic exam and said everything felt fine. Well the pain had become more frequent so I went to my regular doctor who ordered a pelvic ultrasound and this is when bilateral simple cysts were discovered measuring 4cm on the left and 3cm on the right. So I went back to my gyn and was told that these were simple cysts and that I would be put on birth control. For the first two weeks I should take 2 birth control pills a day and then I would stop for one week and start another pack. I would then come back for a follow up ultrasound. I asked for another ca 125 and it came back at 58. The first ca 125 was taken at the end of Nov. 07 and the new one was taken last week. So my question is does the ca 125 blood test level rise if ovarian cancer is present or would it continue to stay at the same level. I have been told that in the event of ovarian cancer the ca 125 would rise on serial checks. I have had a few ca 125 blood test in between the two I mentioned and all of them stay around the same(ie. 52,58,41,50,47,52,58). So it has been 8 months since the first ca 125 and the last. I have another question that I have is does ovarian cysts cause a woman to become nauseated? Well, I hope this is the information you needed and I truly thank you for your time.
Corky
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi There.
I got this answer from my Friend who is in medical field::
{{CA125: The majority of healthy woman who get abnormally high CA125 tests do NOT have cancer.  There are many false positives.  For example, a study quoted by the US National Cancer Institute on their website by Buys et al published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology vol 193: pp 1630-1639 (2005) screened about 29,000 with CA125.  Of these ,402 had a positive CA125 test.  Of the 402, 62 had biopsies---but only 15 cancers were found.  The majority of elevated CA125 tests were FALSE positives.
If you were fighting an infection of some sort in your GI system or pelvic organs, and at the same time had a tooth abscess, it is possible that the tooth abscess might run your immunity down enough to cause the other infection to flare, leading to a CA125 spike.  I would suspect CA125 will start to come down now that the tooth is taken care of.}}

"What is your serum C-Reactive Protein level?  It rises with many inflammatory conditions, then falls when the condition is over."

I do not want to scare you by writing this...just for comparison purposes... My CA125 was at 28  and I had cancerous cyst 13x7x 5 cm on my right ovary. So you see my CA 125 reading was untrue.
I hope this helps to understand CA 125 tests..
Take care. Hugs,Sunes.



hope this helps.


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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your response. I just have a couple of questions. Did you have serial ca 125 test done? Was the level 28 that you had from your first test or did it remain at 28 throughout serial testing? I understand that a ca 125 can be elevated for many reasons including endometriosis, but is the information that you got from your friend indicating that for instance in my case....since the endo was removed that after my surgery the ca 125 level should have dropped in the absence of the endo that made it rise? Also was your cyst seen on transvaginal ultrasound as simple or complex? I have heard this is a good indicator of benign or cancerous cysts.
Thanks for your help.
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315_tn?1231002174
When you have the test also can give false positives.In other words when during your menstral cycle are you having this test??  The ca-125 is not a useful test for pre menapausal women....because of the hormones ,any inflammatory processes as well as many false negative reports.  My ca-125 has always gone up,up and up when cancer is progressing. So the fact that yours continues to stay at the same level could mean this is a "normal" ca-125 number for you. You also are being tested alot for someone who doesn't have ovca. It looks like your tested monthly and the only time I have been tested that much is when I'm on chemo.  I'm kinda wondering why your being tested so much. I would go to another gyn for a second opinion.  good luck..I hope I was able to help or at least make your fears alittle easier.  ~~~~Joanne
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your response, it certainly does make me feel a little better. So  a ca 125 level that is elevated but stays the same can be the "normal" number for a woman. I just worry that the number may indicate something more serious than a slight case of endo. I just don't want to miss anything. As far as when the test in being done in relationhip to my menstrual cycle I haven't actually been keeping track of that. Although, during a couple of the tests, I was on depo provera and was not have monthly periods due to this form of birth control. I wanted to respond as to why I was being tested so much. I have been tested this many times due to my personal preference. In other words, I am having a lot of anxiety over the elevated level and wanted to make sure I knew if the number began to rise at a fast rate. I have already had a second and third opinion on this matter, but with recent onset of more intense pelvic pain and the fidings of the "simple" appearing cysts I am a bit nervous about the number again.
Thanks again for your time and help.
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483733_tn?1326802046
Hi there.  I would agree that it is likely that you this is your normal level.  I live in the province of Ontario in Canada and here the government doesn't even pay for you to test your CA125.  You have to pay yourself.  Some doctors won't even let a pre-menopausal woman have the test.  You are doing all the right things to monitor your condition.  I would encourage you to come on over to the Ovarian Cyst forum.  There is a lot of experience there that you may find helpful.  Our wish on that forum is that none of our members will ever have need for the Ovarian Cancer forum.  
All the best,
Trudie
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Trudie, Thank you for your comments. I am feeling a little more confident that I may be dealing with "simple" cysts and the level of my ca 125 testing is my "normal".I will certainly visit the Ovarian Cyst forum as I am going to contact my gyn about the continued pain and nauseation that has occured over the weekend. Again Thank you for your help.
Corky
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272338_tn?1252284004
I would have to agree with the others. As your CA level pretty much stays the same I would guess that is a normal for you. The fluctuations are slight enough that I would not worry too much. Plus unless you have been dx with ovarian cancer with an elevated CA reading, many times it cannot be an accurate test.
  If you are having your CA read every month due to personal preference, I would cut that back to at least once every 3 months if not 6 as you are causing your self a loty of undue stress.
  With myself, my CA is a good indicator that something is going on. If I have 3 significant rises in a row, then it is time for me to find another chemo. By significant I am talking anywhere from 50 to over 150 points from the last reading.
  Chris
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your rely. You are probably correct in the assumption that I am causing myself stress that is not necessary. I hope you are doing well and continue to do so in the future. God Bless.

Corky
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