Ovarian cancer is measured by CA125* cancer marker levels. In people with ovarian cancer these are often elevated (although not always – which is why it is not used as a standard screening tool for ovarian cancer). At the time of my diagnosis my CA125 levels were recorded and then again at each of my chemotherapy pre-assessment appointments.
Today I was pleased to hear that after just two chemotherapy treatments my CA125 levels are decreasing…insert a wee mini woohoo here!
I’m not getting too excited at this point though…obviously this is expected news or else the NHS wouldn’t be spending thousands of pounds giving me chemotherapy…however, it’s nice to have some good news!
My oncologist explained that this is a good sign when we also consider that my abdominal fluid and pain hasn’t returned.
But what does this mean in terms of my treatment?…at this stage nothing much…
I have a CT scan booked for 29th April. This will allow her to see what my cancer is doing in comparison to the original scan taken on 19th January before treatment started.
The point of this scan is to see if my cancer has reached an operable stage – obviously this would be news worth celebrating but in the meantime it’s a case of wait and see with fingers and toes crossed.
If my cancer has reached an operable size then they would do the operation at some point after chemo round 4 and then I would start chemotherapy again once I had recovered from surgery. I would also have another CT scan after 6 rounds of chemotherapy.
I won’t hear the results of the scan until mid April as they need to have a multi-disciplinary team meeting with the surgeons in order to make a decision and then I will have a meeting with my oncologist to hear the news. At this meeting I’ll be able to see the two scans in order to get a comparison. I’m really excited about this! My oncologist has also said she will show me the photos from my ectopic pregnancy surgery last August so that I can see my cancer at that stage from an internal perspective. My cancer wasn’t diagnosed until 5 months later so it will be really interesting to see what it looked like at that stage.
*CA 125 is a protein that is a so-called tumor marker or biomarker, which is a substance that is found in greater concentration in tumor cells than in other cells of the body. In particular, CA 125 is present in greater concentration in ovarian cancer cells than in other cells.