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?

I don’t believe CA19-9 values have any meaning. When I was first diagnosed with stage 1 pancreatic cancer my CA19-9 was 256. After 8 rounds of chemo and radiation my CA19-9 is 13.8, but yet I now have stage 4 with mets to the liver, tumors continue to grow. I, like most of you, was encouraged by the counts, but to no avail.

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@lisarlee

Thanks for your reply. My step daughter keeps telling me she researched it
and it means nothing so I was hoping for some positive feedback.

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It’s very good news, you want to see the number trending down. My husbands CA19-9 is very indicative of how the chemo is working.

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@pepaw

I don’t believe CA19-9 values have any meaning. When I was first diagnosed with stage 1 pancreatic cancer my CA19-9 was 256. After 8 rounds of chemo and radiation my CA19-9 is 13.8, but yet I now have stage 4 with mets to the liver, tumors continue to grow. I, like most of you, was encouraged by the counts, but to no avail.

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Hi @pepaw, please accept my belated welcome. You're right CA19-9 values are only one measure. Their value has to be substantiated by further investigations, and in your case the value was actually deceiving. Can you share how the mets was discovered?

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@colleenyoung

Hi @pepaw, please accept my belated welcome. You're right CA19-9 values are only one measure. Their value has to be substantiated by further investigations, and in your case the value was actually deceiving. Can you share how the mets was discovered?

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prior to scheduling Whipple surgery, I had CT scan that showed three areas of concern in liver. Then had MRI and PET scan followed by EUS with liver biopsy. Now I am on another chemo regimen with another CT in October to assess.

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@pepaw

prior to scheduling Whipple surgery, I had CT scan that showed three areas of concern in liver. Then had MRI and PET scan followed by EUS with liver biopsy. Now I am on another chemo regimen with another CT in October to assess.

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Hi @pepaw, I thought I'd check in with you. How is chemo going? Have you had the CT scan this month?

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@colleenyoung

Hi @pepaw, I thought I'd check in with you. How is chemo going? Have you had the CT scan this month?

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Chemo is going very well. My CA19-9 continues in the normal range. My next scan is in 2 weeks . Waiting to see if the chemo is working is very hard. In the meantime, i’m investigating clinical trials.

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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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