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Q: CA 125 abnormal blood results ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: CA 125 abnormal blood results
Category: Health > Women's Health
Asked by: jazzin-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 16 Aug 2005 20:47 PDT
Expires: 15 Sep 2005 20:47 PDT
Question ID: 556640
I am 49 yrs old, female.   A year ago I asked for a CA125 blood test
just because I've read so much about ovarian cancer.  Well, mine came
back elevated at68. I have a 7 cm uterine fibroid & doc said that
"could" cause an elevated CA125 b/c it is a tumor, even thought it is
benign.  So, since this came to light,  my doc orders ultrasounds ever
3 months along with add'l CA125 bloodwork.

It went down to 58 six months ago, the shot back up again three months
later by a few points to 61.  The doc ordered a pelvic/abdominal CT
scan with contrast - results were negative (to rule out pancreatic
cancer and other cancers).

I just had my CA 125 done last week - along with  another pelvic
ultrasound.  Get this - CA125 is now 17 - LOW !  Great! Fibroid is
unchange and ovaries have a few little cysts which is normal for me.

I must mention that 2 years ago, I caught genital herpes & Human
Pappiloma virus from my husband who was cheating on me. The GH is very
mild and almost non existent.  The HPV results, however,  were
positive for me having one of the 13 deadly strains which puts me at a
great risk for Cervical Cancer so I have my pap done every 6 months. 
Last one was April 2005 and it was okay.

I found out I am gluten intolerant and for the past month I have put
attention to eating gluten free.

My question is if my uterine fibroid is unchanged and the CT scan and
ultrasounds are relatively normal and unchanged -what else would cause
this elevated CA125 and then such a dramatic drop?   Could the fact
that I'm conscious of trying to maintain a gluten free diet have
anything to do with the CA 125 ?  (sound absurd, doesn't it?).  Could
the HPV possibly have been attacking my immunity system and perhaps
caused an elevation?????  Help, I am so confused as to why this CA125
was elevated and now low.  My doc said to just be "happy".  She wants
me to have another test in 3 more months to make sure it is still low.

Clarification of Question by jazzin-ga on 17 Aug 2005 15:32 PDT
I increased the fee !  Its an interesting and legitimate questions
which I am sure many women are concerned over this type of test.
Subject: Re: CA 125 abnormal blood results
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 17 Aug 2005 23:58 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Jazzin,

  A drop in a CA 125 from 68 to 58 is not actually a significant drop.
A drop to a CA 125 of 17 is more significant.  Beside biological
reasons, there may be outside factors that have affected this result.
First, one would need to know if the same test was run, that is by the
same method, at the same lab. Was your sample handled properly, was
your sample actually yours? I would request a redraw to be sure the
result of 17 was really yours. Compare only results from the same lab,
by the same method. Mistakes, while not terrible common, do happen.
  A result of 68 is not that elevated  a result. You would expect to
see much higher results in active cancers. As you will see, other
areas of the body, and other conditions than cancer can cause an
elevated CA 125. I have found no relation between an elevated CA 125
and herpes or HPV. The CA 125 is excreted by certain cell types, and
not by viruses. Immunity has nothing to do with CA 125 production
either. Perhaps a lowered immunity would allow a tumor to grow in the
first place, but it does not affect the tumor?s production of
glycoproteins. Fibroids can raise the CA 125:

?Many benign conditions in the premenopausal age range can also
elevate it: endometriosis, fibroids, benign cysts and tumors of the
ovary, liver and bowel disease and so on. It really shouldn't be used
as a screen in the premenopausal age range because there are too many
false positives. It is used if there is a tumor or cyst seen on
ultrasound as a baseline prior to already-decided surgery. That way if
it turns out to be malignant, you have a tumor marker to follow
subsequent therapy if the tumor happens to be a type that elevates
CA-125. Premenopausally it should not be used to make a decision about
surgery. Those decisions need to be made on symptoms and imaging.?

?The predictive value of CA125 measurement in postmenopausal women is
a little greater, and using a "cut-off" of 65 U/ml, the false positive
rate was about 8% [7].?

   CA125, also known as a tumor marker, is produced in the cervix,
fallopian tubes, uterus and abdominal cavities. Even the lining of the
chest can produce CA125. CA stands for Cancer Antigen, and CA125 is a
sugar containing protein (glycoprotein) that is released by cells that
have been damaged or inflamed. Levels up to 35 kU/ml are thought to be

Sometimes though, non-cancerous activity can cause the CA125 to become
elevated. Regular menstruation, endometriosis and preganancy can all
cause CA125 to be released. On the flip side, at time, an early
ovarian cancer may not even release enough of the CA125 protein to be
measured. The test is not a foolproof form of screening, and should be
utilized with other tests such as imaging of some kind, or ultrasound
to monitor fluctuating levels of CA125. It certainly sounds like your
doctor is doing a good job of following your case. Kudos to her or

?It is not possible to state the meaning of an abnormally high CA 125
without additional information about the particular patient being
evaluated. The reason is that this protein can be increased in many
different benign and malignant conditions. The two most frequent
situations in which CA 125 is used is to monitor patients with a known
malignancy or as one of several tests in the workup of a patient
suspected of having a tumor.

In the patient who is known to have a malignancy, such as ovarian
carcinoma, the CA 125 level can be monitored periodically. A
decreasing level indicates effective therapy while an increasing level
indicates tumor recurrence. Because of test variation, small changes
are usually not considered significant. A doubling or halving of the
previous value would be important.
In the patient who is being evaluated for a pelvic mass, a CA 125
level greater than 65 is associated with malignancy in approximately
90% of cases. However, without a demonstrable mass, the association is
much weaker.?

?Benign conditions which can elevate CA 125 include infections of the
lining of the abdomen and chest (peritonitis and pleuritis),
menstruation, pregnancy, endometriosis, and liver disease. Benign
tumors of the ovaries can also cause an abnormal test result.
Increases can also be seen in malignancies of the uterine tubes,
endometrium, lung, breast, and gastrointestinal tract.?

?The rate at which CA 125 levels change is often a surrogate
(indirect) measurement of the level of cancer growth and inflammation
in your body. Your doctor will be able to decide how useful this
information is for monitoring the progress of your disease and how
often a CA 125 measurement should be performed to effectively guide
your cancer treatment.?
	?True Positive. Approximately 80 percent of women who have ovarian
cancer will have an elevated CA-125 in the serum portion of their
blood at the time of diagnosis.
	False positive. The rate of "false positives" with CA-125 makes it
inadequate for use by itself for screening of high-risk or healthy
women. Premenopausal women are more likely than postmenopausal women
to receive a "false positive" CA-125. It should be supplemented with
transvaginal sonography and a rectovaginal pelvic exam all done at the
same time.
	False negative. Again, the rate of "false negatives" also makes it
important to use the test as part of a regimen that includes
transvaginal sonography and rectovaginal pelvic exam.
	True negative. Women should repeat the test to observe a trend. You
will need to ask your doctor to arrange this.
When a CA-125II returns elevated, it can mean any of several benign
conditions, or a "false positive" (especially in premenopausal women),
or ovarian cancer or another type of cancer.
A physician specifically experienced in the interpretation of CA-125
results can best assess this for the individual patient.?

?As tumor cells grow and multiply, some of their substances can
increase and leak into the bloodstream or other fluids. Depending upon
the tumor marker, it can be measured in blood, urine, stool or tissue.
Some widely used tumor markers include: AFP, beta-HCG, CA 15-3, CA
19-9, CA 27.29, CA 125, CEA, and PSA. Some tumor markers are
associated with many types of cancer; others, with as few as one. Some
tumor markers are always elevated in specific cancers; most are less
predictable. However, no tumor marker is specific for cancer and most
are found in low levels in healthy persons, or can be associated with
non-neoplastic diseases as well as cancer. Also, no tumor marker test
is free of false negatives or false positives.?
?Conclusions based on tumor marker tests are seldom based on one test
result but on a series of test results, called serial measurements. A
series of increasing or decreasing values is more significant than a
single value.?

You mentioned getting HPV and Herpes from your husband. I would
suggest you get tested for hepatitis as well, since hepatitis is also
a sexually transmitted disease, and according to the following,
hepatitis can cause an elevated CA 125. It?s unlikely, but it wouldn?t
hurt to get tested.

?My CA-125 is elevated. Does that mean I have cancer? No. CA-125 may
be elevated in several other conditions and diseases. This means it is
not specific for ovarian cancer. CA-125 may normally be increased in
early pregnancy and during menstruation. It can also be increased in
diseases such as pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis and
sometimes in hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver.?

I have found no evidence that Herpes virus, HPV or a gluten-free diet
can cause a change in CA 125 results, or affect the production of Ca
125. I can?t say with any certitude that there is no connection, but I
did not find any. Without knowing for sure, it could be your fibroids
that elevated your result. Consider your age ? as you approach
menopause, your CA 125 could become elevated again. It sounds like you
are in good hands medically ? if your doctor is not overly concerned,
relax and be sure to continue your follow-ups!

One more thing ?Pinkfreud suggested you raise your price, and
explained how little the researchers actually earned. I appreciate the
fact that you did increase the price. Regardless of how interesting
the topic is, a question like yours requires a great deal of research
and reading to arrive at a valid answer for the customer. Researchers
must back up answers with reliable and reputable websites.
Occasionally a question with a very low fee will get answered by a
researcher who may be very interested in the topic. However, this type
of question posted at a low fee, often will go unanswered. We
researchers strive to provide great answers, but this is also our

Please request an Answer Clarification, before rating, if any part of
my answer is unclear.

I wish you the best!
Sincerely, Crabcakes

Search Terms
CA-125 + HPV
CA 125  glycoprotein + immunity
CA 125 + gluten intolerance
Elevated CA 125

Request for Answer Clarification by jazzin-ga on 19 Aug 2005 19:59 PDT
You mentioned being tested for Hepatitis. That is very interesting.  I
was tested several times after I learned of husband's infidelity,
however, not recently.  Any info on THAT correlation?

Clarification of Answer by crabcakes-ga on 19 Aug 2005 23:36 PDT
Hi Jazzin,

  The incubation period for Hepatitis C is roughly 5-150 days,
Hepatitis B's incubation period is 30-100 days, and Hepatitis A's
incubation period is 2-7 weeks.

If you have tested negative for all 3 of the above forms of hepatitis
5 mohts after exposure, and have had no further exposures,you can
safely assume you are negative for Hepatitis A,B, and C. If you have
tested negative for Hepatitis, then there is no cause to believe that
an elevated CA 125 was caused by hepatitis!

Regards, Crabcakes
jazzin-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
I wish I had found this site a year ago !  Thank you for your help.

Subject: Re: CA 125 abnormal blood results
From: pinkfreud-ga on 16 Aug 2005 21:04 PDT
We cannot, of course, diagnose you over the Internet. If you'd like a
Researcher to gather general information about various things that can
affect this test, I suggest that you increase your price considerably.
At your current price, a Researcher stands to earn only $1.87.

You may want to review the pricing guidelines for Google Answers:
Subject: Re: CA 125 abnormal blood results
From: crabcakes-ga on 22 Aug 2005 21:24 PDT
Thank you Jazzin, for the stars and the nice tip! Both are appreciated!
Regards, Crabcakes

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