[Question] CA 125 shows 17! Do we need chemo then? - My Ovacome

My Ovacome

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[Question] CA 125 shows 17! Do we need chemo then?


Second Chemo is scheduled for tomorrow, doctors have changed the drugs this time instead of Carboplatin they are going for Cisplatin and instead of paclistar they are going to use bevetex.

I always had this question, and I asked this again to the doctor 👨‍⚕️ and told him that before surgery CA 125 was 150 and now after surgery it shows 17, so where is the cancer left, how do we find that? Doctor said, the biopsy report states metastatic so there are chances that there are invisible cells left which can be killed by chemo, but I’m still not sure why they are going for 6 cycles then? Where each cycle consist of 3 chemo. Each every week and 3 in a month.

5 Replies

Hi. They will continue with chemo to make sure that there are no cancer cells left. During my second recurrence for instance I had a scan after 3 cycles and my scan showed NED with a CA125 of 7. I asked the same question but was told that to give me the best chance of complete remission they would want me to complete the following 3 cycles. I have now been in remission 5 years this time with a CA125 of below 3, albeit I am on Olaparib. Be guided by the experts xx Hope your wife is doing ok xx Kathy xx

Hi, Kathy has explained it well, I know your wife would prefer not to have to go with the chemo but it will be the best in the long run. As your Dr said there is metastatic so they are doing the right thing by your wife,I hope she finds it easy with little side effects take care keep in touch .. Lorraine xx

The chemo is intended to catch any stray cells and is a structured dosage, it’s a bit like, antibiotics, if you don’t take the full course there’s a chance the infection may return, similar with the chemo. Hope this helps.

The experts know what they’re doing ❤️Xx Jane

This is just the routine treatment I'm afraid. The fact is, the very act of cutting out cancerous areas during surgery releases some cancer cells which then circulate round the body - the chemo is meant to mop those up (so to speak) and kill them off. In reality, though, there are already stem cells circulating from the cancer prior to surgery, and probably subsequently - there is not much evidence that chemo definitely does anything against those, but the treatment they have is what they offer, because, in theory, it should kill off those cells circulating caused by the surgery - and maybe the stem cells. I'll also add that a CA125 of 17 after surgery seems good to me - mine was higher immediately after surgery than it was before (99 after, 86 before) though it fell within eight weeks to 22 without chemo. I point that out not to persuade you that chemo isn't necessary, but to say it might suggest that lower CA125 level means there's a better chance of killing off the circulating cells with chemo. And one other thing to grasp - one might think that, with no ovaries left, how can ovarian cancer grow again - but it can grow anywhere as metastases, hence the oft used expression on the part of the medics 'chemo to mop up the mets'...

Hi. It's a great question and as has been said, surgery reduces the cancer and it may not even show on a scan. However the cancer cells are dividing all the time and they are microscopic. The chemo is to try and kill off the microscopic cells that grow the cancer again. It also can depend on what stage the cancer is? 1, 2, 3 or 4. But most the time, the standard treatment is surgery and 18 weeks of chemo.

I hope the side effects are not too bad, it seems to vary greatly. It's good to read here about other's experiences. I learnt about what was more healthy to eat (which was different to my normal healthy eating!) and to eat very small meals 4/5 times a day like grazing! rather than having 3 bigger meals like normal. It helped my stomach pain alot and to drink alot of water all day. It's also good to take gentle walks as much as possible as well as rest as fatigue is usually a side effect of chemo.

Also I hate taking drugs, but realised to take anti nausea drugs after chemo and painkillers! etc.

Yes chemo is necessary to stop the cancer recurring but if we can also educate ourselves about our choices and what has helped previous folk here, I have found the information and support a great help. Sending hugs from Australia.

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