How long does it take for CA-125 to come within normal range?

Hi, mom was diagnosed with stage 3c/4 ovarian cancer. Had 3 lots of chemo's then surgery and now 3 cycles of chemo again. At the time of diagnoses CA 125 was 1400. After surgery, just before starting chemo again the levels were 85 and after completing 4th cycle they are 97.5. Is this normal? How long did it take for your levels to return within the normal range?

7 Replies

  • Hi Shamilas

    I think surgery itself can drive up levels for quite a while..she will no doubt have a scan at some point and this may be a better guide to what's going on.

    They aim for 35 and under but it took me a while to get there.

    All the best to you and your Mum


  • Thank you. That really helps. All the best to you too :)...xx

  • Hi Shamilas

    At diagnosis my CA 125 were 1,559, after 3 chemo went to 15 then up to 90 post surgery. My Oncololigist said its normal for it to rise post surgery because of moving the Peritoneam, I finished my 6th chemo last Friday and my CA 125 is now at 27 well within the normal range.

    Hope everything goes well for mum with her treatment, virtuall hugs

    Ellsey xx

  • Sorry about typo on last line ! Should have read " with a " daughter ! Will edit properly in future . Take care


  • Hi Shamila

    My count was 8000 5 years ago and during my 6 sessions of carboplatin and taxol IT came right back to normal . My oncologist doesn't believe in regular CA 125 every few months for instance as he believes it makes people anxious . We did have some conflict there as I am someone who is obsessed with knowing it whether good or bad ! The doctors prefer scans and symptoms as a first check and but my GP did mine when I got anxious at the end of last year . It was just creeping above normal so in Feb I had a scan which showed slightly swollen lymph nodes . The scan was repeated in July and this time they were swollen more so now I am back on carbo and feeling positive.

    As some people have said here the operation can cause an increase. This test in some women can cause either a false positive or a false negative or I was also told it can fluctuate . This is why many oncologists do not rely on it as the only measure. I hope I have been of some help. My diagnosis was PPC stage 3 c . It is rarer but similar to OC . I wish your mother the very best of luck for the future., she is blessed either a daughter like you.


  • Hi, shamila. Your story is an inspiration. My levels are over 3,000 and I just started chemo. You have made it this far and it makes me hopeful. Thank you for sharing. I have stage 3c too.

  • I had my surgery before starting chemo. Before the surgery, my CA125 was 3500. After 3 chemo treatments it was down to 55. After 5 treatments, it was 11....anxious to hear the results after the sixth treatment I had on Sept. 8. They felt I was responding beyond expectation, but we will see within the next 3 weeks or so. More blood work, CT scan. I guess I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop...that's how I feel, anyway.

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