Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I had ovarian cancer 10 years ago. My CA-125 was never elevated and the cancer was found during a hysterectomy for other reasons. How can I be sure I haven't developed a recurrence, as I am having similar symptoms to those I had before the hysterectomy?
Stephen C. Rubin, MD, Professor and Chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:
Some patients with ovarian cancers, even when advanced, will not have an elevation in CA-125 at the time of diagnosis. For these patients, regular physical examinations along with imaging scans from time to time are very important in their follow-up care. Most physicians will check a CA-125 regularly, as well. Fortunately, it would be very unusual for ovarian cancer to recur after ten years. You should see your physician to have your current symptoms evaluated.
Dec 28, 2012 - Among asymptomatic women, high-risk categories for predicting ovarian cancer risk can be identified using CA125, transvaginal ultrasonography, or both, providing guidance for clinical decisions regarding need for surgery in these women, according to research published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.