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Cancer Markers

missgogo
Posts: 58
Joined: May 2009

Can someone please explain what Cancer Marker are. My Doc Told me what what mine was and said it was in the normal range.

Cindy54's picture
Cindy54
Posts: 454
Joined: Aug 2006

Did your cancer marker have a name? Most cancer markers have a name that they go by or are called. There are certain numbers in a range in these markers that let the doctors know if there is need for further treatment, or if the cancer is active or spreading. Cindy

mimivac's picture
mimivac
Posts: 2147
Joined: Dec 2008

There are two that I know are commonly used for breast cancer. I don't have the info. in front of me now, but one is called something like CEA and the other CA 27.29. My doc. does the latter, and normal range is anything below 38. But some people can naturally have high numbers without having cancer. The markers are not necessarily indicative of either absence or presence of disease, but they give good trend information. For instance, if your marker suddenly starts to increase, your doctor may do a follow up scan just to make sure. If you are normal, I wouldn't worry about it.

Eil4186's picture
Eil4186
Posts: 967
Joined: Dec 2007

CA 125 is the tumor marker for ovarian cancer. Cancer cells discard/create a protein that normal cells do except in elevated amounts. So, there is a normal range that is ok to have in your blood. But as Mimi said, a low number doesn't gaurantee there is no cancer and a high number doesn't guarantee there is cancer.

My onc. explained it as a high number is like when your check engine light comes on. It doesn't necessarily mean cancer, but it indicates that something may be going on.

My vocabulary may be wrong but this is the gist of it, I think.

Eil4186's picture
Eil4186
Posts: 967
Joined: Dec 2007

CA 125 is the tumor marker for ovarian cancer. Cancer cells discard/create a protein that normal cells do except in elevated amounts. So, there is a normal range that is ok to have in your blood. But as Mimi said, a low number doesn't gaurantee there is no cancer and a high number doesn't guarantee there is cancer.

My onc. explained it as a high number is like when your check engine light comes on. It doesn't necessarily mean cancer, but it indicates that something may be going on.

My vocabulary may be wrong but this is the gist of it, I think.

Eil4186's picture
Eil4186
Posts: 967
Joined: Dec 2007

CA 125 is the tumor marker for ovarian cancer. Cancer cells discard/create a protein that normal cells do except in elevated amounts. So, there is a normal range that is ok to have in your blood. But as Mimi said, a low number doesn't gaurantee there is no cancer and a high number doesn't guarantee there is cancer.

My onc. explained it as a high number is like when your check engine light comes on. It doesn't necessarily mean cancer, but it indicates that something may be going on.

My vocabulary may be wrong but this is the gist of it, I think.

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4622
Joined: Feb 2004

Hope this is what you are looking for.

CA 15-3 antigen levels are most commonly elevated in breast cancer, ovarian, lung, colorectal, and pancreatic. The "safe" margin is anything below 31.3.

CEA looks for elevated protein levels and is for the same cancers as listed above. The "safe" margins are anything between 0.1 - 4.9.

Hugs,

RE

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

Thanks for this information. I never heard of this. I don't think I was ever told mine. Should I try and find out?

Hugs, Leeza

mimivac's picture
mimivac
Posts: 2147
Joined: Dec 2008

Your doctor may not have done the test on you. Not all doctors use cancer markers. They're not known to be extremely accurate. Mine uses them for trend information only. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure how I feel about them. My number is normal now, so it gives me some reassurance. However, if it starts to rise, I know I will freak out even if it's still in the normal range. I will wonder why it's rising and drive myself nuts, even though it's probably nothing. I've been toying with the idea of just having them done, but not getting the results unless my onc. thinks there's a real problem.

Mimi

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

Ok, thanks Mimi. I knew I was never told this. I kept all of my papers and couldn't find anything about cancer markers. Guess my oncologist just doesn't do it.

Thanks again!

Leeza

Aortus's picture
Aortus
Posts: 967
Joined: Jan 2009

Moopy had an appointment this afternoon with her St. Louis oncologist, Dr. Horn (aka Dr. Formidable). She happened to mention that Moopy's tumor marker results would be in tomorrow, which opened up a whole kettle of fish. Apparently Moopy's last two results were a little above the "normal" range - but as Dr. Horn pointed out, Moopy came out NED per PET scan at the beginning of June. So it turns out she, too, is using them for trend information.

It took me a little bit of time on the drive back to convince Moopy of this, but when we stopped for a bite to eat (God bless restaurants with free wi-fi) I showed her your response to Leeza. Yet another case of my beloved wife's extreme disinclination to believe a thing I say - changing to vehement agreement once another woman says exactly the same thing. And when the other woman is you, that only makes Moopy more vehement.

So thanks for ganging up on Moopy with me, Mimi! I am proud to be your junior partner on the Triple Negative Truth Team.

Joe

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

I never had these cancer markers either that I know of. So, I guess they are no big deal from what I have read here.

Here's hoping that all that have them, that the results are normal!

Hugs, Diane ♥

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

LOL Joe. When will you men learn?

(sigh) Leeza

mimivac's picture
mimivac
Posts: 2147
Joined: Dec 2008

Well, I'm honored to be a part of this team, Joe! And yes, Moopy, no need to worry about the marker. The PET scan is so much more accurate. Usually they will do the PET scan to confirm or deny a tumor marker. And a little above the normal is no big deal. Somone on my other board had a level of something like 4200 on the CA 29.27, where the normal is under 38. So, don't worry. But, yes, I totally understand wanting to have "perfect" numbers. I don't think I'll ask for my results from now on.

Mimi

missgogo
Posts: 58
Joined: May 2009

Thanks for all of the good replys. My ONC Told me what mine was for the first time and it is a 7 and they said that was good. All of my other lab work is improving.

Moopy23's picture
Moopy23
Posts: 1753
Joined: Jan 2009

Glad your lab work is either good and improving, missgogo. As for me and cancer markers, I'm joining Mimi and won't be asking for that number!

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

Congrats on the good cancer marker number missgogo!

Hugs!

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

That is great missgogo that you had a 7! Congrats!

Leeza

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