• Does it really go away?

    Asked by LChatCat on Saturday, April 13, 2013

    Does it really go away?

    I was diagnosed in Oct 2007. Had total hysterectomy followed up with 6 months of chemo. July 2010 was back in surgery with ovarian cancer again...on my right I had a golf ball size tumor (which was cancer) and on my left I had places on my colon which were believed to be cancer...while in there they removed part of my colon...I then went thru 6 more months of chemo...I have a CA-125 lab test done monthly to make sure my count doesn't start going up again (this was my indication on my second surgery...my count started going up each month) I have been fortunate so far but then last month it went up a couple of notches...just had made me start wondering again.

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • CAS1's Avatar

      Cancer is caused by mutations to certain genes. When we get treatment we don't know if we kill or remove or completely treat the mecanism that caused the mutation in the first place. The mutation can be an DRIVER or a Tumor supressor or both. There are usually two invoved..

      Then there are pathways involved with cancer..Some are more open in certain cancers.

      In some cancers we do a better job than others because the line of mutations are not as complex.
      I wish I could post a graf of the mutation lines to help explain. But for those cancers that we can cure there are just a few mutations and then they go up from there. Everyday headway is being made to better understandi the mutations and pathways. Really its going so fast every single day. Like dominos when a door open several more fall open as well.

      over 7 years ago
    • Kathy's Avatar

      I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009 and went thru the chemo and then in 2012 a growth came back in a similar spot. When it recurred my CA125 had spiked that month. They like my number under 21 and it was also fluctuating around 10, 11 or 12. When it came back it was at 42! I've been told that when there is a big jump that that is when there is concern. Not sure if what I'm telling you is accurate but it's the way I understand it. It seems ovarian cancer is one of the trickier ones to treat. Wishing you well and hoping for good numbers for you. Hugs.

      over 7 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      I am an oncology nurse that specializes in gyne cancers. I am not going to answer the question you ask but I am going to tell you that the CA-125 is NOTORIOUS for false positives and can increase for so many reasons. I once had a patient who went from 106 to 11000 because the jelly in her PB&J sandwich was spoiled. As an example, the ACS states this about markers:

      The drawbacks of tumor markers
      Early on in the search for tumor markers, the hope was that someday all cancers could be detected
      early with a blood test. A simple blood test that could find cancers in their earliest stages could
      prevent the deaths of millions of people. But very few tumor markers are useful for finding cancer
      at a very early stage. There are a few reasons for this:
      · Almost everyone has a small amount of these markers in their blood, so it’s very hard to spot
      early cancers by using these tests.
      · The levels of these markers tend to get higher than normal only when there’s a large amount of
      cancer present.
      · Some people with cancer never have high tumor marker levels.
      · Even when levels of these markers are high, it doesn’t always mean cancer is present. For
      example, the level of the tumor marker CA 125 can be high in women with gynecologic
      conditions other than ovarian cancer.
      These are the reasons why, today, tumor markers are used mainly in patients who have already
      been diagnosed with cancer to watch their response to treatment or look for the return of cancer.

      So don't always assume it means something bad. In gyne-onc I tell my patients to let the scan tell the story; not the marker. All a CA-125 is supposed to do is give you pause to reflect on the many reasons it could be high like spoiled food, stress, an ulcer, diverticulitis, etc. In the bullfight of oncology, sometimes it is best to let that bull run in circles a bit before you grab those horns. You might find he tires out long before he ever becomes a threat. Best of luck to you, Carm RN.

      over 7 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      Just to be clear "tumor markers are not mutations"

      Tumor makers are usually different chemical amounts in the blood. They do not apply to all cancers.

      From what I know about ovarian there are several diffrent types based upon the mutations involved.

      over 7 years ago
    • c25862's Avatar

      Hello, I to had a total hysterectomy when I was diagnosed and small part of my colon taken out as well when I was diagnosed in 2011. I had 6 months of chemo and went into full remission when it came back in December 2011. I have been battling it ever since then. If you have any concerns you should bring it up with your oncologist that's what they are there for. I will pray for you that everything will be ok. We are all here for you and know what you are going thru :) hugs

      over 7 years ago
    • BeckyTice's Avatar

      I don't know if it goes away. I know when I was being treated for Lyme Disease not long ago, I learned that it would never go away.... and the co-infections might mutate as well.... It seems like this cancer stuff is the same thing. That's what's scaring me the most. I am not afraid to make decisions on my own about my health. I ask for a copy of every report and read it through checking for inconsistencies that even I can find. I figure all the stuff over my head should repeat through the reports or it should be mentioned that the stuff is now unremarkable. Even that word unremarkable may lead me to issues.... say if a change in prognosis is unremarkable.

      I wonder if it matters really. After all... we're tagged with cancer now.... so now we have to learn how to live with it and continue on with life... Full of Hope... I can only hope the professionals I'm dealing with are as professional as they seem to be. Now that it may be a while I have to depend on them.


      over 7 years ago
    • Crash's Avatar

      Well, for me the cancer has gone away, but the fear that it might return will be with me until I die. I may go a year without a symptom or any reason for concern, but then I'll feel a lump or have a cough and the thought begins, followed by concern which might just as well be called fear, and I'll get treated for what turns out to be something else entirely, and I eventually learn to accept that things are okay.....until the next whatever puts me back in fear mode. I've been doing that for 37 years now. Knock wood and keep praying and thanking the Lord for EVERY day.

      over 7 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      I finally at age 62 listened to what I was told about God.
      1) He wants the best for us
      2) Let him lead you
      3) Let him take your worries and not let them bother you.

      I was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer. Had a 39 lb tumor removed with my right and left ovaries... (Hysterectomy was done 22 years earlier) I had two years of chemo... and I've held God's hand tightly... he's led me to here - 7 years later... and I have had only momments of fear since then. I see my oncologist's PA every six months for exam and CA125. As someone once said... "Let go and let God"... (That and I've done all that my oncologist has asked me to do!!!)

      over 7 years ago
    • derbygirl's Avatar

      I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in 2008 and have had blood work done every 3 months since my 2 surgeries. My CA-125 levels have fluctuated since having surgery but I was told not to worry unless it goes beyond the normal range of what it should be. Then I was told that even though it may go over the level, there may be other reasons for the spike that has nothing to do with a reoccurrence. Try not to think the worst when you get the results. I keep telling myself that I won't worry until the doctor tells me there's something to worry about so that's the best advice I can give you. Take care.

      over 7 years ago
    • BMac's Avatar

      I am one of those people for which the CA125 test just doesn't work. I had Stage IV Ovarian Cancer, without any recognizable symptoms and my levels were not elevated. I have been fortunate because my oncologist has PET scans done. I was pronounced cancer free in June, 2012, only to have it recur this June, 2013. My cancer was widespread across my abdominal area, with my surgeon saying he removed all the tumors he could see, but had to finally stop, after about 3 hours in surgery. My Oncologist said the caner is not curable, but treatable. I think we have to learn to live with that and make the most of our lives and enjoy ourselves as much as possible. I really believe that cancer lives in most of us, it just doesn't rear its ugly head until something triggers it. Also, we may not die of cancer, but we will probably die with it. Keep a positive attitude and, if you believe in a higher power, rely on prayer. It definitely gets me through each day. Try not to concentrate on the fact that the cancer is back, concentrate on what each day brings. Best wishes and share when you feel up to it.

      over 7 years ago

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