A forum specifically for patients only to use (e.g. newly diagnosed, recovering from surgery, having chemotherapy or patients in follow up).

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Question about ca19?

Postby jdlinder » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:05 pm

Hello I've been on gemzar/abraxane for the last 2 months and my ca19 was down to 9.6. My doctor by accident took my ca19 the next week, only a week apart from each other and it jumped to 17.6. Should I be concerned?? 

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Re: Question about ca19?

Postby J_T » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:14 pm

Hi, I'm afraid I don't know but didn't want your post to be unanswered. Why don't you email Jeni or Dianne here. They are the ones with the knowledge.

Good luck.


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Re: Question about ca19?

Postby Cathy » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:53 pm


I am also no expert but I don't think it is an exact science - I know that sometimes a tumour marker can go up as a reflection of the chemo successfully breaking up cells (which then count as more that 1 as the broken up bits are counted). I think the tumour marker count has to be looked at alongside how you are doing generally so probably nothing to worry about if you are feeling ok.

I'd do as Julie suggests and ask the nurses here.

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Re: Question about ca19?

Postby Sones » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:52 pm


My C19-9 is usually between 9.5 and 9.10. However, just after I finished my course of gemcitabine it went to 19.6 and i worried myself sick. I think they say anything under 38 is within the normal range. I was told that even a slight infection (that your not aware of ) can change the reading so please try not to worry, 19 is still well within the normal range.


PCUK Nurse Jeni
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Re: Question about ca19?

Postby PCUK Nurse Jeni » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:56 pm

Absolutely agree with Sones - no need to be alarmed by this, and it is still low. Sometimes does fluctuate when on chemo, and for other reasons as mentioned (infection etc...), but, no, do not be alarmed or concerned about this. Usually do ca 19.9 pre each cycle, not each dose. See what it is the next time round, and that should show a normal reading again.

Kind regards,


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Re: Question about ca19?

Postby washingtonmike » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:28 pm

My CA19-9 marker was 2505 three days ago at the beginning of chemo #4, down from some 6,800 two weeks prior. The lab report I have says that anything less than 34 is good. The unit of measurement is U/mL and this is from the States. Not sure if you good folks across the pond use that or another measure.

I can hardly wait until my next treatment to see if the trend continues. Take care. Cheers, Mike

PCUK Nurse Dianne
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Re: Question about ca19?

Postby PCUK Nurse Dianne » Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:50 pm

Hi Mike,

Great to hear that your Ca19-9 is coming down. Normal measures here are 0-37u/Ml as you have stated. The important issue beyond anything else is that they are coming down. Most practitioners are not so worried about the total, but the importance of the 'rise or fall' per se of the Ca 19-9. It is used as an indicator along with your scans as a sign of treatment efficacy. Keep up the good work, and thanks for sharing from the other side of the ocean.

Best wishes,
Support Team

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Re: Question about ca19?

Postby washingtonmike » Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:35 pm

Thanks, Dianne. I'm trying my very best to be positive; some days that's really tough to do. Cheers, Mike

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Re: Question about ca19?

Postby washingtonmike » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:10 pm

I'm in the latter part of treatment #5 now. My CA19 marker was once again down, this time at 1382 from the previous 2505 so we're continuing in progress along that line. We did have to remove the Camptosar from the mix this time because of the increasing dysarthria. Cheers, Mike

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Re: Question about ca19?

Postby J_T » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:56 am

Glad to hear the tumour markers are still coming down Mike, good news.

Sorry they've removed the ironotecan (camptostar) but better that than you suffering the side effects.

Keep on keeping on!

Julia x

Carole McGregor
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Re: Question about ca19?

Postby Carole McGregor » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:51 pm

Hi there

Just been advised by the oncologist treating my husband that CA 19 -9 isn't measured where we live (west of Scotland). I had been meaning to ask about it each time we have had consultation but there has always been something else just as important to discuss. Now a bit shocked. Clive's cancer had spread to liver by time Whipples attempted. Hadn't shown up on CT and MRI scans. Surely CA 19- 9 levels would have been a useful additional source of info on how disease was progressing ? Is Scotland alone in not using this marker ?


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Re: Question about ca19?

Postby Slewis7313 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:49 pm

That does seem strange Carole. Whilst CA19 - 9 in isolation is not apparently not a reliable measure of the illness, it is significamt in reinforcing trends indicated by other tests or even general well-being of individuals. The actual value is not necessarily of use, but changes most certainly are...... In principle, if it is going up there is probably an issue and if it's going down things are probably going in the right direction. I have intentionally used the word probably several times as CA19 helps, but is not always as mentioned earlier an absolute measure of the illness. My Oncologist (NHS Wales) certainly sees the test to be of value.

Hope this is of help (and not too confusing!)