How much variation is expected in CA 125 after chemo ends?

My CA 125 was 8985 (ish) after debulking and came down to 14 during chemo. I am almost 3 months since ending chemo. My ca 125 is now 19. Is this indicitive of a return of the disease? My doctor presented it as if there is a time period after chemo when I haven't even gotten to my actual baseline ca 125 (what is normal for me)...How long would that be. I'm terrified all the time but this little creeping number has me nervous even though the nurse says it is insignifigant. thanks, Christina

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I'm not real sure what to tell you because mine isn't based on my CA125. My CA125 has never been below 28 and is 194 right now. My scans are all clear with no cancer showing, so we do another CA125 in a few weeks.
It's different in all of us.
Please keep us updated.

Take care & God Bless

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Mine bounced up and down for awhile after finishing front line chemo. It is normal to be worried, as this is the only scrap of information we have. Your doctors will look for a trend where numbers double or triple, not an isolated rise of a few points. It seems as though you were sensitive to you chemo, and CA-125 is probably a good indicator for you. I know it is awfully hard, but try to sit tight with this one and not worry about something you can't control in the near term.

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I read a while ago an article on CA 125 as predictor or relapse and it said that the Ca 125 takes a while to bottom out. For some that can be 90 days after finishing initial chemo.

There is beginning to be articles about Ca 125 as predictor of how you do with maintenance.

My best guess on reading all this is the lower the better but the trend is important.

I wish I didn't think about it!! It can make me crazy. I finished initial, am disease free with good scans since finishing in April but marker is at 18. Only done once.

AM in maintenace for this reason but it makes me think I will recur sooner than later. I may be wrong about this.

So I think we are sort of in the same boat.

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Given what you started with, that is an excellent CA number to have after chemo. Sounds like your marker is sensitive to what happens to you, which is good and you are in the "normal" range. The time to worry is when it keeps moving up and starts doubling.

Mine always went down to around 10 or less after chemo. The first time it stayed there for 6 wonderful years. The second time it was good for only 10 months. So far, the marker has been accurate for me and has correctly shown remissions and recurrences.

Even though ovca comes with built-in worrying, I wouldn't worry too much at this point. Try to relax and enjoy the fact that you've done so very well. Congratulations.

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I think it depends on the person. For some people it is very indicative of cancer fluctuations. I had one that kept rising and eventually I am now having a recurrence. It took almost a year to return. It went from 8 to 14 to 18 to 31 to 35 and now 124. I pray it is just lab fluctuations.

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This is also a question I'm interested in since I only have 1 more chemo to go. All my research seems to affirm what the ladies above said -- it is very individual, and there are normal ups and downs with the CA-125 that are not necessarily reflective of cancer -- inflammation, infection, and normal lab fluctuations.

My doctor told me that while he will use the CA-125 as a monitoring tool, he won't treat based on it alone. If my numbers show a continuing upward trend, then he'd order a CT scan, but wouldn't treat until he had evidence of disease since there are other things going on in the body that can cause this number to rise.

If you're 3 months out, your level is probably normalizing. Evidently, the nadir occurs somewhere around 90 days post-chemo, then stabilizes or may elevate slightly until you achieve your baseline. It sounds like you had an excellent response to the chemo. Good luck.

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My CA 125 is currently trending upward but still in the normal range. It was only a 1 after I finished chemo over a year ago for stage IIIC disease and my doctor immediately said that "it would go up" - which it did eventually. I'm having another test tomorrow. I used to be terrified, too, about having the CA 125 and the cancer in general but now have taken to heart what they say about the test only being part of the picture. I feel well right now and hope things will turn out fine this week. I got help for my anxiety through counseling and do recommend this for anyone. Best wishes!

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I have just finished 10 rounds of chemo and my marker is at 36. I will have a lymph node biopsy as requested by my doc. Pet scan and Cat scans are good and she feels I am in remission and has discontinued chemo. My CA 125 never went below 36. I would feel better if it was lower but, that is just me worrying.
Good wishes to all.
Blessings,
Seha

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I sympathize with everyone. My ca 125 was at 31 when I finished chemo then it bounced around till it hit 68, which meant my doc was waiting to decide when to put me back on chemo Then I had a hernia operation for this huge incisional hernia that I got as a result of the initial surgery. The funny thing is that after the operation my ca125 has continued to decrease. It is now down to 33. The doctors are baffled. WEIRD... truly weird. I dont know what to think. I dont want to get my hopes up but I dont want to live my life scared either. Fun... so much fun. UGH!!!!!!!

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My CA 125 has fluctuated between 4 and 18 since I was diagnosed in 2005 with no real upward trend. I have no evidence of recurrence to date, but wasted so much time worrying. My last CA25 was 5! I was petrified every time it increased 2 points, only to find that it would go down 5 points the next. Eventually, I realized that I did not want to be robbed of precious time by worrying that my cancer "might" be back. It is such a waste!
I wish you well and have found that the incredible women on this site have given me the courage to face whatever the future holds for me.

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My CA125 was stayed around 13 for a long tie. Last visit 60! Now I have to go for radiation.

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Rely on your CT scans!
Everyone's CA 125 is different.
I am on a study vaccine which changes the CA125 levels so we don't look at it as an indicator. We rely on the CT scan! If you trust your doctor and he/she says "no cancer" then try and move forward. I worry all the time but I'm working on moving forward.
Congrats on the "NO CANCER" Enjoy it!
Jan

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My marker bounced around between 9 and 19 for over 3 years. Average reading was around 13. But it was up and down, up and down. Now it has crept up and never down and I am getting worried.

However, as said before, my doctor goes by symptoms, pelvic exam and CT/PET scan findings to confirm "it is back" - not by marker.

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My mom finished her front line chemo 2 months ago. Her CA 125 was at 50. That was good since before surgery and her 6 sessions of chemo it was really high like over 6000! But now, 2 months post chemo her last CA was 165! She was really sad and I tried to be supported. Her oncologist is going to continue with taxol chemo, once a month for a year. She was sad that her numbers went up. She feels good though and is back at work. She's an amazing fighter. Thought I'd share. Thanks and god bless. Please let me know what you all think about this and what I can tell my mom. Love and prayers to all.

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paintergal: I bet your hernia issue caused the rise in CA-125. Any inflammation in the abdomen can cause an elevated CA-125. Once they fixed it, it decreased. Just a guess from an ever hopeful cancer survivor, but a possible explanation.

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Onthemend, I hope that you are doing well. Has anything changed for you?

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My CA125 was 450 before surgery and 250 after suegery. After 3 rounds of Chemo it went to 70 and at the end of my 7th round it went to 14 then to 8 and now I'm at 6. I had stage 3c and also bad ascitis they had to remove part of my omentum. My only real problem is that I have bad nueopathy. My feet are always numb and my right hand. I don't walk as well as I use to. I have been in remission for 6 months now. It will be 1year since my surgery on 11-10. I 'm thankful to be alive and I pray for a cure for all others. God Bless Maggie

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