← Return to CA 19-9 and pancreatic cancer: What do the numbers mean?

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I like the information provided by the website Lab Tests Online (https://labtestsonline.org/) by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC). The information is trustworthy and easy to understand.

Here's the page about Cancer Antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) https://labtestsonline.org/tests/cancer-antigen-19-9
CA 19-9 is primarily used to monitor response to pancreatic cancer treatment and to watch for recurrence. In the section called "What does the test result mean?" it states:
"Levels of CA 19-9 that are initially high and then fall over time may indicate that the treatment is working and/or that the cancer was removed successfully during surgery. Levels that remain high or rise over time may indicate that treatment is not working and/or that the cancer is recurring."

@lisarlee, I understand that your step daughter may not have complete faith in the CA 19-9 test. It is only one test. But taking a blood sample is a simple, non-invasive test to keep check on things. Your cancer team will use multiple tests in addition to the CA 19-9 test to monitor the cancer, how the treatment is working or not, and watch for signs of recurrence.

For the moment, I think both you and @colorafo19 can accept the lower numbers as good news and have confidence in the teams monitor of the cancer. What other tests have you had? How are you feeling?

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Diagnosed in May of 2022, I have inoperable stage IV (tumor is in tail and involves veins and arteries with tiny spot initially seen in liver) and have had 17 sessions of Folfirinox-sometimes minus ironiteacan and as of recently minus oxiliaplatin. Except for chemo days and the overall reduced stamina, I feel healthy and keep myself busy and have no other health issues. Pet scans and CT scans which initially showed shrinkage (tumor is very small and no longer is there evidence detectable in liver) currently shows "stable". However, my CA19-9 is slowly creeping upwards-highest was 2558 and dropped to 65 in Nov of 2022, but now is 402. Should i be more worried than the oncologist lets on?? I am not at a pancreatic cancer center for oncology but have been advocating for myself with info I find on medical sites at JH, Mayo, and MSK. I will be traveling to MSK to receive MRI guided SBRT next month. I often feel I am only given standard treatment locally unless I present other options–it is so frustrating. Any advice/suggestions would be helpful.