Oncology (General Cancer)/CA19-9 test results


Dear Dr.  My husband was diagnosed with cancer in the bile duct in June of 2104.  He underwent the Whipple surgery.  The pathology report was good, in the the margins were clear and 2 out of the 15 lymph nodes were positive.

Since Sept he has been on chemo, Gemzar, 6 cycles of 3 weeks of treatment once per week and then one week off.  He will complete the 4th cycle tomorrow.

On August 21st his CA19-9 was at 66.  He was just re- tested last week and the number is now 42.  Is this good?  I was on the understanding that the Whipple surgery was successful and the cancer is gone, so why is there still an elevated level.  I understand 37 is acceptable.

Thank you for your advice.  Janet Hull

Dear Janet, unfortunateky no one can guarantee that any cancer surgery is successful. The first test result level was clearly elevated. The second one less so. If these results are due to that his cancer has come back is at the moment possible but not certain. The present situation is unclear.I do suggesr further investigations to clarify the present situation since I think you want to be certain what his situation is.

You can also reach me at: http://www.liveperson.com/professional/expert-profile.aspx?gsBMQvSJ0S4K1haAm6AtH
There is no limit to the number of questions there. Please note: NEW SITE!

Donations are also always welcome! No amount is too small, no amount is too big!
The language problem I have had with the payment site has been solved!

Oncology (General Cancer)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Claes-Gustaf Nordquist, M.D.


Questions concerning Cancer, Oncology, radiation Therapy, Tumours, Chemotherapy, Cytotoxic Drugs, Hormonal Therapy, Radiation Protection.


I'm a Doctor of Medicine and specialist in Medical Oncology and Radiation Therapy educated & trained in Sweden. Now retired. Background in Radiation Therapy, Medical Oncology, Radiation Protection, Nuclear Medicine, Diagnostic Radiology, Gynecological Oncology, Clinical Pathology, Clinical Cytology,Hematology and Internal Medicine. M.D. from the faculty of medicine, Royal Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Have also been an exchange student at the Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem Israel. Former medical consultant, Swedish National Board of Radiation Protection. Former Police Surgeon and Medical Examiner, Stockholm Police Department. Former Chief Medical Officer, The Royal Guards, The Royal Horse Guards and the Royal Household Brigade, Royal Swedish Army Medical Corps. You can also reach me on: http://www.lifestylerescue.com/expert/health-fitness-advice/dr-claes-gustaf/128 I have no restrictions in the number of questions there. I also answer questions in these other categories: General History, Military History, Brain Tumors, Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer

I'm a medical doctor and specialist in medical oncology and radiation therapy

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.