Question asked by: 
Val, Woking
Date asked: 
Feb 2013

My cancer recurred after about two years, but I’ve been clear since 2009. How do I know I'm alright now when the doctors tell me I am? My CA125 increased but is well within normal limits, and a CT scan showed nothing unusual. How long do you have to wait to say you are clear?

How long do you have to wait to say you’re clear?
After five years, the chances of recurrence are low
Response by Professor Iain McNeish, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology

To be completely honest, we don’t know for certain whether your cancer will recur. But with a normal scan and a normal CA125, we hope it won’t come back.

Most cancers, if they are going to recur, do so within two years. If you get to five years, then the chances of recurrence are very low.

There’s no perfect test in medicine: a woman with a normal CA125 and CT scan could still see her cancer return. We need to develop more sensitive tests (both blood tests and scans) that can detect smaller, preferably microscopic deposits.