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how reliable is a CA-125
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how reliable is a CA-125

I have been to a couple of doctors and been told i have stomach problems, IBS, thicking of the bowel wall, liver problems and now the new doctor I saw said I could have ovarian cancer he said i have all systoms(extended stomach, weight issues, diarrha and/or constipation, not eating normal,ext. Well he order a CA-125 some type of blood work that suppose to tell. I do have cancer that runs in my family, alot of the females in my family have had hysterectomys. My question is what is normal and whats not, how accurate is the test?
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4 Comments
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295767_tn?1240191914
Hi there,
First of all the test is not 100% reliable. Anything can raise your CA-125 number, even a toothache. Keeping that in mind, any number below 21 is normal. If you already have ovarian cancer, anything below 35 is normal. Please know that some women have had normal ca-125 blood test results and still had cancer. You should ask for a transvaginal ultra sound and a CT scan if possible to be more clear. Best of luck, Deandra
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315_tn?1231002174
The ca-125 test can be a very confusing test. It has many many false positives.  It depends on your age,pre or post menapausal. If you still have your period it depends on what time of your cycle you took the test. Then there are numerous infections or inflammations that can cause a rise as well.  A ca-125 was ordered for me once a ct scan had reported a mass,and the fluid in my tummy came back positive for cancer cells. As Brownie said this test can also give a false negative as well.  This test is a good tool once ovca has been established and or to predict a recurrence.  As far as cancer in the family they have found a tie between breast,ovarian and colon cancers only..going back to 1st and 2nd line family members.  I think it's great that you have a Dr. who seems to be sharp and on top of these things.  So many of us were diagnosed wrongly only to be diagnosed with a later stage of ovca because of Dr. who have no knowledge of this disease.  Good luck..keep us posted~~~Joanne
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272338_tn?1252284004
The other girls are right. The CA test is not always an acurate detection esp when used on its own. In combination with other tests it can me a little more reliable. Normally if you are dx with ovarian cancer and you have an elevated CA125 then they consider that the test is fairly reliable for you. I cannot believe that a Dr would tell you that you could have ovarian cancer without running any tests at all. Normally it is detected by tissue samples from surgery, unless it has mestatasized (spread) But a biopsy is still the only sure way. I had a CT scan, bloodwork, and a biopsy of a lump next to my breast. It came back cancer but the sample had to be sent off to determine where the cancer originated from. There are other tests such as the transvaginal ultrasound that can be combined with other tests such as a CT or PET scan and the blood work. Before you settle for this Drs opinion, please demand that these other tests be run so that you know for sure. And do not let them put you off, have them done as soon as possible. Your Dr sounds on top of things but do not let him make his decision based only on the CA125 test.
   Chris
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634567_tn?1222659559
Well I got back my CA-125 results and the # was 12.9 but my doctor told me  to still go see a gyno and get an transvaginal ultrasound done, so made appt for that. But I am still miserable, still bloated and at the end of my wits.
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