I joined a Facebook group for ovarian cancer survivors so I could read about the experiences of others to help put mine into some context. One of the first things I saw was a post sharing a guide to CA-125 values prepared by the Foundation for Women’s Cancers . Another timely find as after I received my results from my 9 month post-chemo follow up appointment I noted that since I completed my treatment my CA-125 value has been creeping up. It is still well below the 34.9 cap on the “normal” range and my doctor seems pleased with how they are doing, but it still bothers me.
I can’t say that I found great comfort in what I read since it says that a increase in number over time is often an indicator of a recurrence. At the same time, there is still a great deal to learn about this test result and the guide does note that a gyn-oncologist is most skilled at interpreting the results for individual patients.
This result is just one more tool in the tool box so I shouldn’t give it more power than it deserves. I’ve noted a trend, but all that calls for is continued attention to future results and not a call to arms now. I guess I’m still recovering from being told that they don’t normally become concerned about an elevated CA-125 value in a “woman my age” until it hits 200 (when mine was 165). However, if I’m reading this guide properly it seems that it is not really considered an accurate screening test until it is determined that it is accurate for the individual with the value (clear as mud, yes?)…
Gratefully, it isn’t my job to obsess over these numbers and I have great faith in the abilities of the person who does have that job. Speaking of which, I see her tomorrow to determine what’s going on in my urinary tract so I can ask her then if I’m just being my hyper vigilant self or if there is any cause for concern.
Has your CA-125 value been a good indicator for you with regards to your diagnosis, treatment, and follow up or not? Let me know in the comments below.
No worries, I got this