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Just curious

csgossard
Posts: 13
Joined: Apr 2002

Does anyone know if your tumor markers are suppose to go down after they remove and treat your breast cancer?

ksfc
Posts: 252
Joined: Apr 2002

I was told that they wouldn't do tumor markers on me until at least 3 or 4 months after treatment was completed because it takes awhile for them to go down. Diane

hummingbyrd's picture
hummingbyrd
Posts: 965
Joined: Sep 2002

yes, tumor markers are supposed to go down the CEA is normally < 5 and the CA 27.29 which is most specific for breast cancer is normally < 35. It does take a while after treatment for them to get back to normal (6-8 weeks), but let me say this if they continue to stay up or start going up you should have a work up done. Bone scan, CT of lungs, abdomen and pelvis or a PET scan if MD will order it. However, my markers have been on the rise since Dec 2001 and thank God they can't find any cancer. Why they are going up who knows? All I can say is praise God, I'm still here and doing well. Hope this helps, Hummingbyrd

csgossard
Posts: 13
Joined: Apr 2002

Thanks for your response. I had my lumpectomy 10/4/01. My turmor markers were 47.6 before my surgery. Had DCIS. 6 weeks radiation. Past year of hell due to radiation damage.

Anyway, last month I went to oncologist and he was concerned because my tumor markers were 42. He sent me to surgeon who said I had DCIS and radiation, didn't see how it could be anything. She looked at my mammograms and couldn't see anything. I've have 4 surgeries since the operation and lots of scar tissue. My oncologist is retesting in 6 weeks. Do you think I should be concerned?

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hummingbyrd
Posts: 965
Joined: Sep 2002

Concerned is a hard question to answer. First off I pray and listen and let God guide my attitude. He has saved me plenty of times in the past 2 yrs. Look at the data too. Is that the only tumor mrker you've had done since 10/01? or have they been going up? At least it is less than before the surgery. Initially radiation can elevate #'s, so when was last rad treatment?
When they did the mammo was it a CAD (computer aided detection type). These mammos are read by a Radiologist then run thru comp where they are digitalized. Studies show they r picking up on 20% more tumors than w/ MD reading alone. Also breast cancer typically metastasis' to BBLL (brain, bone, liver and lung). If it was in the brain you'd be having neuro problems (speech, balance, walk...)but I would want other scans that I mentioned, that's just sort of standard to me w/ breast cancer. Last, but not least, how do u feel? Pray and let God guide the way. God bless, HummB

pamtriggs's picture
pamtriggs
Posts: 408
Joined: Sep 2000

As an expert on tumour markers my advice is this. They will slowly go down after surgery to remove the primary tumour. IF they do not or continue to rise this means you have metastatic tumours elsewhere in the body. The cancer gives off a protein which is the marker they measure. For ovarian cancer it is CA 125 & for breast cnacer it is CA 153. These are similar to the PSA markers that men have for prostate cancer. If your markers do not go down ask for a bone scan to pinpint other tumours that may be growing elsewhere. If you were node negative after your original mastecomy this is unlikely but then so was I & 21 years later I am fighting mets in the bones. You will probably be fine & don't get hung up on the marker levels.

Love & hugs

Pam

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