Published Jun 19, 2004
You are reading page 2 of An Eye Opener on Ovarian Cancer
I heard about this test also, but was told by my insurance company that this test is not a 'catch all' kind of test and that it's usfullness was in question. My doctor doesn't recommend the test for routine purposes either. Still, for something as 'deadly but treatable if caughter early' as ovarian cancer; if a woman has risk factors, it should be covered. Look how long it took to get mammograms covered. We nurses should keep on it. Great post.
Though the median age for this cancer is 56, (and, guess what, I'm exactly 56), women as young as 22 have it. Age is no factor.
Actually, I can attest that you can get it as early as 18 yo...BTDT, but hey, I am here today :)
And I thought I was safe! I thought one bit of good out of the hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy was that I could never have "female" cancer--the one I feared most.
Oh no! You can still get cervical cancer too! My Gyn/Onc still screens me for this and yes, he still runs the CA 125 routinely.
PS Ovarian cancer survivor.
Fran...this sooo scares me because of all the problems you know I have been having. My CT scan came back normal, though. Do you think I should still call about the blood test?
FranEMTnurse, CNA, LPN, EMT-I
Thank you...I go back to the OB on Monday to decide about surgery. I will print the OP out and some of the responses.
Nurse Ratched, RN
I don't mean to be onery, but this has been around on the internet for a few years now. I post the above link for another viewpoint.
Stephanie in FL
I am also an ovarian cancer survivor. I am 36 and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer Sept 2003. BernieO's post is correct. I wanted to add that a diagnosis of ovarian cancer is not an automatic death sentence. I attended a conference for ovarian cancer survivors Feb 04. One woman , whose MD gave her 6 mos to live upon her diagnosis, has been remission for 14 years.
My CA-125 was 209 (normal is
Stephanie RN CDE
I work with GYN Oncologists everyday; infact one of the doctors I work with wrote the test book on the subject. The problem with the CA-125 test is it is inclusive. You can have an elevated CA-125 for many reason such as inflamation, endometerosis, heart problems, and more. The marker is only helpful to us if it is extremely elevated. A normal CA125 ranges from 0-35 anywhere in that range is normal. I have had patients with ovarian cancer, primary pertoneal cancer and fallopian tube cancer who CA125 have been in the normal range or only slightly elevated when they were diagnosed. We also had one patient whose CA125 was in the thousands and she turned out to have a benigh tumor of the abdomen/pelvis.
I am told by the docs a new screening test for these cancers is right around the corner. As for now 90% of all ovarian, pertoneal and fallopian tube cancers are found either at stage 3 or 4 because that is when the disease becomes eveident with ascites, increasing abdomenal girth, indigestion, maybe constipation and/or diarrhea. How are the other 10% found purely by accident. Someone may be in a car accident and have abdomen and pelvis CT or US (which actually the best US to show female pelvic organs is a tranvaginal US) it will show a mass. (a transvaginal US is not a routine test because it is an invasive procedure) A pap smear can not detect it. Pap was designed to detect cervical cancer and is very good at it. (SO I do encourage every one to get a pap every year. Even after menapause) A pap smear can not even detect endometerial (uterine) cancers unless they have advanced into the cervical area.
So bottom line is you can have a CA125 drawn every year if you want to but it is not as valid a screening test as a PSA.
Well crap, mine would be high for the endometriosis then if that's what it is with me. *sigh* This is frustrating. I want to be fixed!
If you are having a problem you need to talk to your doctor. Preferably your GYN. Let him/her do an exam and possibly an utrra sound or CT scan abd/pelvis. That should give you the answers you need. A GP doctor can be great but when you think something is wrong and can not get answers you need to go to someone who specializes in what ever you are having a problem with.
Already have seen my OB/GYN...already did the CT scan. They honestly can't find anything wrong and I am in extreme pain most of the time. BC has seemed to alleviate some of it, but not all. I go back to the OB/GYN tomorrow (he's working with my GP to try to figure this all out). I also had a sigmoidoscopy and nothing.....it's frustrating.
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