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Does the CA125 Number Drop With Each Chemo? Does the CA125 Number Drop With Each Chemo?

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Unread 06-11-2003, 12:01 AM
Does the CA125 Number Drop With Each Chemo?

After my second chemo treatment, my CA125 dropped to slightly less than 6.3. Now that I've completed three chemo treatments, my new CA125 number is still slightly less than 6.3.

Is it normal for the numbers to drop for a while and then just kind of hang around in one place? One person mentioned that her number had settled at 7 after her third chemo and never budged. But I don't know if this is the exception or the rule. I just want to make sure I didn't do anything to keep my number from decreasing with each treatment.

If it matters at all, I started at 161, then dropped to 17 after surgery, then dropped to 8 after the first chemo. I just don't know if it's supposed to drop with each treatment.
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Unread 06-11-2003, 09:37 AM
Yup - drop is good!

Hi Siren -
Yes, the CA125 is used to monitor the effect of treatment. 6.3 is awsome!!
Mine dropped and has stayed at 7 since my first chemo, and is still 7 after the last which was 5 months ago (I've been tested twice during that time).

I am curious though - my onc told me 7 was as low as it goes - that labs are unable to measure any lower after that, and yet I see posts all the time of 5.2, 3.0, and one even 0. So what gives? Maybe just the difference in labs?
Anyway, single digits are the way to go. Congratulations!
Unread 06-11-2003, 09:40 AM
Does the CA125 Number Drop With Each Chemo?

Hi Siren...

That is a wonderful ca125 number!! I am waiting to get mine today also.

I found that the numbers seem to drop alot a first, which shows that the chemo is working, and then it kinda stabilizes itself. After my 6th chemo my ca125 number was 11 and that became my baseline number. Since then it has gone down to 9 and up to 12. There is a 3 to 4 point margin of error depending on who is reading the results etc.

My oncologist told me that it is when the number doubles itself that they begin to look further.

So if all of a sudden my number jumps to 20, even though it is still in the normal under 35 range, It may not be normal for me.

Hope this makes so sense to you. I would be thrilled if my number comes back as low as yours.

Keep eating those mushrooms!!!

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Unread 06-11-2003, 11:44 AM
Does the CA125 Number Drop With Each Chemo?


What I'm trying to figure out is whether the CA125 drops for a few chemos, and then doesn't drop for the next few chemos. If my understanding of Moonflower's post is correct, hers dropped to 7 and never moved again from that number. So . . . would this mean that no further downward movement of my number is OK?

Karenann or Margaret321? Any thoughts?

Weird about the labs and what they can measure. I guess I didn't realize that. Maybe they can only measure down to 6.3, and my real number is 1. ;-)
Unread 06-11-2003, 01:41 PM

and the next senerio mine is......

Just got my ca125 number and it is 34. It went UP from 12. MY chemo finished in September. At that time the number was 11. In February it was 12 and now, June it went to 34!!

Of course the tears are flowing and am going for an abdominal and pelvic cat scan on Friday. My oncologist is not concerned but I certainly am petrified!!

Unread 06-11-2003, 02:24 PM
Does the CA125 Number Drop With Each Chemo?

Oh, Rosalie!

I'm so sorry to hear that . . . but I'm glad your oncologist doesn't seem worried. Maybe the CT scan won't show anything and you can just go on your merry way. I will pray that that's what happens. I guess I just don't know enough about what's happening inside when a CA125 goes up. Are cells multiplying? Is something else going on? I'll have to pester my doctor about that when I next see him.

When I went to a support group meeting recently, one woman's CA125 had gone way up . . . but she just didn't want to deal with it. I felt bad for her. She had Stage IV and is an older woman who likes to travel. She seemed very happy and unconcered.

In any case, I've had a few people tell me that if someone has a recurrence and goes through a second treatment, they often never recur again. I have no idea whether that's true or not. And I will pray pray pray that you don't have a recurrence.

Are you taking any supplements or doing anything dietary? I met a woman at the Wellness Community who had been opened up, declared hopeless, and closed back up . . . who got all the cancer out of her body with Essiac tea and a vegan diet. I'm not saying that this would work for everyone. But it seemed fairly compelling to me. I haven't yet been able to work *all* the sugar out of my diet, but I'm certainly trying to make healthy changes. And I've added the tea to my daily supplement arsenal.

I'm thinking about you, Rosalie! I will worry until you tell us what the scan says. I hope it is unremarkable and boring and empty!

Many s and a to cheer you up!
Unread 06-11-2003, 02:55 PM

I think it's an individual thing to some extent. Mine went straight down for six carboplatin treatments this last time, took a little hop up, came down and settled at 6.1 on the old scale, which is 10 on the new lab/test. The first time on taxol/carbo, I went to 8.6 and wound up going up a bit between 12 and 14. Oncologist totally unconcerned about that.
Unread 06-11-2003, 03:04 PM
Does the CA125 Number Drop With Each Chemo?

Rosalie-I certainly understand your worry. May that CT show nothing but healthly tissue. 's for you.

SirenSong-My last CA125 was 5.7. My highest was 112 prior to surgery, 36 after surgery and dropped to 9 after the 1st chemo. My onc said that because my ca125 was never too high that it isn't a good marker for me. That's why I do CT scans every 3-6 months. Different labs do give different readings. My CA125 readings are always a little higher at my gyne-onc.

I think this is why CA125 is not an exact tumor marker.

Ruth S
Unread 06-11-2003, 03:26 PM
Does the CA125 Number Drop With Each Chemo?

s SirenSong

I think the ca 125 response varies a great deal from person to person. And it is not always a good tumor marker. Alot depends on the type of ovarian cancer. With epithelial ovca, it is usually a good marker. My ca 125 pre surgery was 900. After surgery, but before chemo it was 47. With chemo it fell rapidly to around 10. And since completing treatment it has always been in the 8 to 12 area. Hope this helps.

Unread 06-12-2003, 09:28 AM
A Question of mine, too

Siren Song,

This is one question that I will be asking my gyn/oncologist on my next visit to him on Monday. My third chemo will be the week after, and I had been thinking to expect a drop in the number.

My first CA 125 test - done in Canada, last October, although I did not get the results until February of this year (!!!) was in the 400 range. (I had left my country to recuperate in my DH's). Bahamas. HEAT!!!!!!! Or is it a HOT FLASH??!!! When I showed my doctor here those test results, he promptly made sure that I had another CA 125 test, done this past February at a lab in Florida. It was in the 1700 range by that time. (That, along with the Cat Scan, revealed all). Don't have the exact number with me, as I do not have at hand, right now (it's at my mother's house, where I am recuperating, as no stairs there) the binder where I file all cancer related documents. (By the way, keeping a binder of all medical reports/files, etc., is one way for me to get a bit of a handle on ovarian cancer, I find, and I chose my favourite colour - red!)

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