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CA-125 Rising

Gynecologic Cancers | Last Active: Jun 10 12:21pm | Replies (10)

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@lathomasmd

The reason CA-125 is not a good screening test for all women is because so many other things can cause it to rise, and ovarian cancer is relatively rare. (See list.)
CA-125 is used to assess women who already have ovarian cancer. That’s because if you have a history of cancer, it’s more likely that a high CA-125 is due to the cancer, and not something else. But if you don’t have a history of cancer, one of the more common things on the list is much more likely to be the cause.
For a woman with OC and a rising CA-125, the next step would be a CT or a PET scan. You had one recently and it was clear. This is very reassuring.
If there were only a few causes, and if OC were more common, CA-125 would probably be a good screening test for all women.
This is why mammograms are a good screening test—breast cancer is common and the list of things that can cause an abnormal mammogram is short.
I don’t see melanoma in this list. But ask your oncologist and your dermatologist if melanoma sometimes causes CA-125 to rise.

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Replies to "The reason CA-125 is not a good screening test for all women is because so many..."

Thank you for responding. I have asked my dermatologist and oncologist if the melanomas and rising CA-125 could be connected. Answer is pretty much, not really. I think the main reason I'm getting the melanomas is because of my weakened immune system. As a youngster, I got bad sunburns (burn, blister, peel), so I am sure that didn't help any. My oncologist is monitoring the CA-125, but relies more on imaging. I used to get CT scans after three cycles of treatments, but now they do PET scans after three cycles. My PET scans have all come back with no "activity", and no new implants found. Previous CT scans showed I had 4 or 5 tiny implants (pea size), but they are either gone now or are so small they are not showing up on PET scan. I am still searching for a cause of rising CA-125, but in meantime, am pleased with good PET scans. I still do chemo every 3 weeks, and thankfully, I have not had problems with it. The only one I had trouble with was when I was on Doxil, which they had to reduce the dosage on twice to the minimum, as it basically made the palms of my hands look and feel sunburned, the skin peeled, and I could barely bend my fingers. Was glad to get off that when they started me on my current "cocktail" of Avastin, Keytruda, and Cytoxan (Cyclophosomide (?)). Had to come off Avastin from October until early February, while have melanoma surgeries, one in November and the other in January. Will probably have to come off again when they remove ones just found.