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Tumor markers increased after chemo

joannstar
Posts: 347
Joined: Nov 2010

I just finished chemo (6 rounds) after 2 lumpectomies (to get clean margins) and was mapped and ready to start 33 rads, but my onc called with the news that my tumor markers from my blood test last week have increased. Seems that in August before chemo they were 31, the last chemo treatment on 1/7 they were 36 and on 1/25 they increased to 41. He is ordering a PET scan and possibly a bone scan before any rads because he doesn't like the upward trend.
I didn't expect to hear this news...and I'm scared because I thought I was 2/3 through treatment and now...I just don't know.
I was dx as Stage 1C IDC, med grade, triple negative on 8/19/10.
Anyone else have a similar experience with a good result?
Thanks for your input.
JoAnn

Lighthouse_7's picture
Lighthouse_7
Posts: 1566
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi JoAnn,

I don't know if this will help but my Oncologist told me he doesn't like to do markers and I asked why. His opinion is that they can be false negative or false positive, in other words, not reliable.

Please know that I don't know anything about them but after reading about them here, I asked him why he doesn't take mine.

I hope everything works out okay for you and I'll say a prayer.

Hugs and love,
Wanda

joannstar
Posts: 347
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi Wanda,
Thanks for your info. My onc admitted that he might be over-reacting but said he would rather be overly cautious. He also said that some of his patients had high tumor markers with no symptoms and patients with low markers that were symptomatic.
I am trying not to worry...and he advised that I take xanax or valium until the PET scan which may have to wait until Monday.
Thank you for your prayers...I know it helps.
Hugs,
JoAnn

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

praying for good results

joannstar
Posts: 347
Joined: Nov 2010

I have a PET appointment set for Monday at 10am, provided the insurance will ok it.
I don't want to have to wait that long, but the doctor advised me to take either valium or xanax and I will take him up on that!!
I'm hoping that the increase in my tumor markers is just a fluke and not an indication of anything further...
Hugs,
JoAnn

mgm42
Posts: 494
Joined: Nov 2007

JoAnn, like Wanda, my oncologist does no testing because of the high number of false negative/false positive results. She says it's not worth putting her patients through the anxiety and stress. She relies on her patients to let her know how they are feeling. Based on how the patient answers, she will do all necessary testing as indicated. In the beginning I was very uncomfortable with this approach and wanted every follow-up test in the book. But, I'm now three years out and feeling great. You do learn to listen, very closely, to your body, which is something I never used to do. Good luck. Hope this helps a bit. Hugs, Marilynn

joannstar
Posts: 347
Joined: Nov 2010

I can't believe that my markers went up as I am feeling pretty good. I have a PET scan scheduled for Monday and may have to have a bone scan also. My first PET scan in September was negative and I'm hoping for the same thing and perhaps the sinus infection that I had when the test was done is the reason for the increase. I just don't know, I am trying to not focus on the future but it is very hard. The xanax I took doesn't seem to be easing my anxiety--must be too small a dose but since I'm at work, I can't take any more. I've asked for 10mg valium prescription which ought to at least help me through the test.
Thankfully my husband of almost a year (first marriage for me at 57) is very supportive although he is pushing me to keep up my normal activities which I am finding difficult--all I want to do is cry (which is quite inconvenient at work).
I hope to be able to post a good outcome next week and to actually be able to start rads as was planned.
Hugs,
JoAnn

MyTurnNow's picture
MyTurnNow
Posts: 2694
Joined: Aug 2009

JoAnn, it is disappointing to hear this news but it is a wonderful thing that your doc is being cautious. I am hoping that the PET comes back clear and you are back on your treatment plan. Take a breath (or xanax) and we'll be here helping you get through the anxiety that comes with the waiting. Sending strength and encouragement your way....YOU can do this!! Take care.

joannstar
Posts: 347
Joined: Nov 2010

I know that I really don't have a choice--I trust my doctor and as he said, I pay him to be overly cautious.
Monday seems so long and then the wait for the results and THE CALL.
JoAnn

missrenee's picture
missrenee
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

It's wonderful that he is overly cautious--because then when he finds out that this is nothing to worry about--you'll be completely satisfied with the results. You won't have to wonder--what if? Try to relax this weekend (using whatever means necessary) and we'll all be in there with you on Monday. I'm sending every ounce of positive energy I have for a perfect result.

Hugs, Renee

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