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

Posted by lisarlee @lisarlee, Feb 1, 2020

What is your opinion on these numbers? Was diagnosed in September 2019 and my ca 19-9 was 7500. New number yesterday was 909 after 9 chemo sessions. Is this good news or a wasted test?

Liked by lucky1038, jachawk

You’re going on the right direction. With my husband we have learned his CA19-9 is very indicative of what’s going on, we have a friend whose never went above 0. My beat answer is everyone’s different, but lower is better and celebrate the little things.

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@afaqsworld

Need help regarding CA19-9

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in Year Nov-2013 my dad was diagnosed with CA colon and was operated straight away and 12cycles FolFox was followed. Oct-2018 due to increase in CEA level to 12 my Dad was again diagnosed with malignant Solitary lesion between the tail of Pancreas and Spleen. It was the reoccurrence…Again operated in Nov-2018 and has been on oral chemo for last 21months now…All went well… Prior to this CEA was only matter of concern as it was 12 before he got operated and now its 5.7. all along his CA19-9 has been well under normal range less than 37… we repeat his blood test every 21days. on 18Sep2020 his CA19-9 was 15 but today we did his routine blood test and to our shock CA19-9 has shot up to 158.9… last PET was done in July and all was fine apart from mild Fdg uptake at the tail of Pancreas and our Onco was not worried for that. My dad never had cancer of Pancreas and now I wonder what made this CA19-9 rise with 21days 10times from 15 to 158….. its frightening… my dad has been through a lot since last 7years now… can anyone help!!!!

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Need help regarding CA19-9

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@afaqsworld

in Year Nov-2013 my dad was diagnosed with CA colon and was operated straight away and 12cycles FolFox was followed. Oct-2018 due to increase in CEA level to 12 my Dad was again diagnosed with malignant Solitary lesion between the tail of Pancreas and Spleen. It was the reoccurrence…Again operated in Nov-2018 and has been on oral chemo for last 21months now…All went well… Prior to this CEA was only matter of concern as it was 12 before he got operated and now its 5.7. all along his CA19-9 has been well under normal range less than 37… we repeat his blood test every 21days. on 18Sep2020 his CA19-9 was 15 but today we did his routine blood test and to our shock CA19-9 has shot up to 158.9… last PET was done in July and all was fine apart from mild Fdg uptake at the tail of Pancreas and our Onco was not worried for that. My dad never had cancer of Pancreas and now I wonder what made this CA19-9 rise with 21days 10times from 15 to 158….. its frightening… my dad has been through a lot since last 7years now… can anyone help!!!!

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@afaqsworld My doctors tell me that there are many things that can cause .CA 19-9 to go up one of which is pancreatic cancer. I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 6 years ago. For 5 1/2 years my scans came back clean. Last December they found out that my cancer has come back. If my .CA 19-9 took a jump like that, I would be calling my oncologist asking about more testing to find out what was going on.

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@afaqsworld and others – here is some information on the test that may be helpful.

"High levels of CA 19-9 are often a sign of pancreatic cancer. But sometimes, high levels can indicate other types of cancer or certain noncancerous disorders, including cirrhosis and gallstones. Because high levels of CA 19-9 can mean different things, the test is not used by itself to screen for or diagnose cancer.Jul 30, 2020" — CA 19-9 Blood Test (Pancreatic Cancer): https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/ca-19-9-blood-test-pancreatic-cancer/

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@marvinjsturing

@afaqsworld My doctors tell me that there are many things that can cause .CA 19-9 to go up one of which is pancreatic cancer. I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 6 years ago. For 5 1/2 years my scans came back clean. Last December they found out that my cancer has come back. If my .CA 19-9 took a jump like that, I would be calling my oncologist asking about more testing to find out what was going on.

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Did you have surgery to resect tumor?

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@afaqsworld

in Year Nov-2013 my dad was diagnosed with CA colon and was operated straight away and 12cycles FolFox was followed. Oct-2018 due to increase in CEA level to 12 my Dad was again diagnosed with malignant Solitary lesion between the tail of Pancreas and Spleen. It was the reoccurrence…Again operated in Nov-2018 and has been on oral chemo for last 21months now…All went well… Prior to this CEA was only matter of concern as it was 12 before he got operated and now its 5.7. all along his CA19-9 has been well under normal range less than 37… we repeat his blood test every 21days. on 18Sep2020 his CA19-9 was 15 but today we did his routine blood test and to our shock CA19-9 has shot up to 158.9… last PET was done in July and all was fine apart from mild Fdg uptake at the tail of Pancreas and our Onco was not worried for that. My dad never had cancer of Pancreas and now I wonder what made this CA19-9 rise with 21days 10times from 15 to 158….. its frightening… my dad has been through a lot since last 7years now… can anyone help!!!!

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Hi @afaqsworld, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion about CA19-9 levels. I did this so you can connect with other members more easily. Click VIEW & REPLY to scroll through past posts and see replies to your questions from members.

CA19-9 is only one indicator to signal the possible need for further investigation. Will your father have additional tests to find out what is going on?

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@marvinjsturing

@afaqsworld My doctors tell me that there are many things that can cause .CA 19-9 to go up one of which is pancreatic cancer. I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 6 years ago. For 5 1/2 years my scans came back clean. Last December they found out that my cancer has come back. If my .CA 19-9 took a jump like that, I would be calling my oncologist asking about more testing to find out what was going on.

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But my dad never have pancreatic cancer…he had colon cancer that was resected in 2013 and then had reoccurrence in 2018 and it was again of same nature i e CEA was raised NOT CA19-9… ever since 2018 my father is on oral chemo with 3weekly blood test and 3months PET SCAN..CEA 5.8 where as CA19-9 has risen up to 158.9 all of a sudden…till now CA19-9 has never crossed 24 since 2018..

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@ginathemom

Did you have surgery to resect tumor?

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But my dad never have pancreatic cancer…he had colon cancer that was resected in 2013 and then had reoccurrence in 2018 and it was again of same nature i e CEA was raised NOT CA19-9… ever since 2018 my father is on oral chemo with 3weekly blood test and 3months PET SCAN..CEA 5.8 where as CA19-9 has risen up to 158.9 all of a sudden…till now CA19-9 has never crossed 24 since 2018..

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@marvinjsturing

@afaqsworld My doctors tell me that there are many things that can cause .CA 19-9 to go up one of which is pancreatic cancer. I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 6 years ago. For 5 1/2 years my scans came back clean. Last December they found out that my cancer has come back. If my .CA 19-9 took a jump like that, I would be calling my oncologist asking about more testing to find out what was going on.

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Onco suggests all is fine with my father…just repeat in 1week..he is expect all to be normal…but I am stressed like hell till we get this test done…

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@colleenyoung

Hi @afaqsworld, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion about CA19-9 levels. I did this so you can connect with other members more easily. Click VIEW & REPLY to scroll through past posts and see replies to your questions from members.

CA19-9 is only one indicator to signal the possible need for further investigation. Will your father have additional tests to find out what is going on?

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Thanks ever so much dear…my father has been told to repeat the blood test and his PET is due as well next week…

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@afaqsworld

Onco suggests all is fine with my father…just repeat in 1week..he is expect all to be normal…but I am stressed like hell till we get this test done…

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@afaqsworld, I bet you're stressed. That's understandable. One step at a time. Worry rarely solves problems, but putting our worries aside is much easier said than done. I get that. Whatever is causing the rise in CA19-9 levels will not dramatically change between now and when he has additional testing. It's good that his doctors are on it. Once they and you have all the results, a plan will be made.

Until that time, we're here. We're listening. If you just felt a light pressure on your shoulder, that's the virtual hand reaching to support you.

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@colleenyoung

@afaqsworld, I bet you're stressed. That's understandable. One step at a time. Worry rarely solves problems, but putting our worries aside is much easier said than done. I get that. Whatever is causing the rise in CA19-9 levels will not dramatically change between now and when he has additional testing. It's good that his doctors are on it. Once they and you have all the results, a plan will be made.

Until that time, we're here. We're listening. If you just felt a light pressure on your shoulder, that's the virtual hand reaching to support you.

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thanks ever so so much…my dad means world to me…he has been battling Cancer since last 7years and when everything seemed to be getting better we are facing it again….I hope not…

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