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My CA 19 9 came back at 37.1 should I be concerned with pancreatic cancer?

My CA19 9 came back at 37.1. I have been extremely sick for the past 6 months...extreme upper left abdominal pain that sometimes radiates to my back. I can’t eat anything without pain and diarrhea. I have had many tests, CT scan, MRI, Upper Endoscopy with ultrasound of the pancreas. They showed that at least 1/3 of my pancreas is atrophied and my duct is extremely engorged as well as the duct going to my liver and I have several cysts inside the pancreas. Should I be concerned about cancer? They just keep giving me the run around. I am 56 soon to be 57 this month and female. My mother died at age 37 of some kind of abdominal cancer. I don’t know what type but she died very quickly after they found it. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
2 Responses
15695260 tn?1549593113
Hello and welcome to the forum.  We're sorry you have been feeling so poorly and have to ask these questions as I'm sure it is very worrisome for you.  Your doctor should be guiding you and discussing these results with you.  The CA19-9 test is a marker test used for the pancreas.  As you've surely read, your result is elevated. What I'm unsure of is if this was the first time you had the marker test so you don't know if it is the usual result or a recent increase, correct?  That is helpful if there is an answer to that but perhaps this was the first time they gave you the test.  Tumor growth in the pancreas will elevate your numbers.  But other things will as well.  Things such as pancreatitis and gallstones can elevate the CA19-9 result.  For this reason, this test is used only as a maker and not as a diagnostic tool for pancreatic cancer since other things can raise the number.  Here is information on the CA19-9 test.  http://pathology.jhu.edu/pancreas/ca19-9.php.  Please know that cysts in the pancreas are actually quite common.  They often don't know why someone has them.  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pancreatic-cysts/symptoms-causes/syc-20375993  They are most often benign.  

However, with your history of your mom dying of GI related cancer at such a young age along with the marker results, your doctor will likely do further analysis.  Please let us know when you next see them to discuss this and what your next steps will be.  We wish you all the best!
15695260 tn?1549593113
Hello, I wanted to check how things went.  Have you followed back up with your doctor?  We'd love to know how things are going.  
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