The CA-125 is a biomarker protein that may be elevated in the blood of women who have ovarian cancer. But the CA-125 is not specific to ovarian cancer since it can be elevated for reasons other than ovarian cancer such as diverticulitis and other abdominal inflammations.
When I was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer ( Stage 3B) my CA-125 was 177. Yes, it was above the normal guideline (0-21 and now 0-35 )but so much lower than other women with the same disease load whose numbers were in the thousands. When I recurred my CA-125 was 16 up from 9. And, yes, that would be a normal reading. At that point I had a diseased spleen and tumors on the surface of my liver. So my doctors and I don't necessarily look at the absolute value of the CA-125 result but we are looking at the trend , even if the results are in the normal range. We have also agreed that if I am asymptomatic she will not treat me because of a rising CA-125 unless there is evidence on a scan.
In December of 2010 my CA-125 was 10 and during 2011 my results were between 10 and 13 until December when it shot up to 16.7. Uh Oh it is rising! Of course the fact that I could be recurring entered my brain but there was no way that was going to stop me from having an awesome Christmas and New Years. It would have to wait.
I had my follow-up blood test on Thursday. My nurse e-mailed me on Friday that the result was 11. Right there between 10 and 13. I'm not sure why there was that jump in December. But I am happy with the 11 . And I'll be happy going in to see my gyn-onc later this month knowing that it is 11.
Every Day is a Blessing!