The Management of Anxiety and Knowledge of Serum CA-125 After an Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis

Amanda Reid

Elizabeth Ercolano

Peter Schwartz

Ruth McCorkle

CA-125 antigen, tumor markers/biological
CJON 2011, 15(6), 625-632. DOI: 10.1188/11.CJON.625-632

This article describes the relationship among anxiety, distress, and serum CA-125 levels in women with ovarian cancer. Women's anxiety about monitoring their CA-125 levels during chemotherapy also is discussed. Data from a randomized trial including self-reported anxiety and emotional distress of women following surgery after a primary diagnosis of ovarian cancer, their recorded serum CA-125 levels, and knowledge about their CA-125 levels were analyzed. In the sample, 26 of 30 women had serum CA-125 levels above the normal range. At baseline, the sample had an elevated mean anxiety score and an elevated distress score. A moderate association was found between a high serum CA-125 level and a high anxiety score at baseline, but the finding was not statistically significant. A negative nonsignificant relationship was found between a high serum CA-125 level and distress at baseline. The qualitative analysis revealed two themes: anxiety and lack of knowledge of serum CA-125. Oncology nurses and nurse practitioners caring for these women should provide essential information and strategies that can help guide women with ovarian cancer through the journey of their disease.

Members Only
Not a current ONS member or journal subscriber?

Purchase This Article

Receive a PDF to download and print.