Hi Rose, the docs told Dad last week that the CA-19 is one of several diagnostic tools used to guage the status of the cancer. In Dad’s case, following 3.5 mo. of Gemzar, his CA-19 went down from a ~28,000 to a ~6,000. This past week, it was back up to 9,000- along with an elevated bili levels (~22). While the scans did not show growth in the size of the tumor, the doc. did not interpret the results to be very positive- in that 2 out of 3 of the diagnostic measures did not come back in Dad’s favor. I too had read that normal levels were somewhere in the 37-50 ballpark, so you can imagine our shock when we’re talking tens of thousands!
I am certainly no authority on this source, I can only share what we’ve been told as part of the process.
Hi Rose….we had been told that the CA 19-9 can fluctuate greatly and is taken in consideration when evaluating the patient it is however, not a sole way of determining progression of the disease therefore, it is only of significance when other symptoms are present. What is being observed is the trend of going up or, going down. As Peter had mentioned once: It is more of an art then a science.
I had bloodwork done before my ERCP and my CA19-9 levels came back at 1118. I see by a quick google search that norms are less than 50. What does this indicate? Does this show an active, malignant tumor? Do the actual levels of CA19-9 make a difference in diagnosis or is it simply the fact that it’s elevated in the first place. Can’t seem to get clear info on this.