Tumor marker blood tests

Meems Member Posts: 15
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I have been very concerned about about CA25-27 tumor marker blood tests and how accurate they are and when to get really histerical about results. It seems the accuracy is in question and there can be postives that turn out to be nothing after all. This is not good news for a newbie with a real strong inclination to worry. Any experiences with it? Thanks. Meems


  • Annie7399
    Annie7399 Member Posts: 3
    Hi dear. I don't know whether this is going to be of any help to you or not. I can only tell you what my oncologist and oncology nurse told me when I was going through chemo myself.
    I was done with treatment as of 6/6/03. I had 4 rounds of AC and additional 4 rounds of Taxotere as a result of a recur. I've read, and also been told by my onco/onco nurse as well as many, many others in support groups that I belong to, that they're not really all that reliable in early stage cancers. They are of more benefit in later stage cancers [3-4] or rare cancers. There is a section in Dr. Susan Love's book that talks about this exact topic.
    I'm sorry I can't remember what chapter right now...but I'm sure someone else could help you with that, or if you have a copy or can locate a copy. They are available at Amazon.com for what I think is pretty reasonable price. {$15-$16 before shipping/will depend on where you are as to s/h charge]
    HTH'S Take care there/God bless
  • DiO
    DiO Member Posts: 51
    My onc doesn't use tumor marker tests at all because he found them too unreliable--as many or more false negatives and false positives as correct results! It's a little scary to rely only on symptoms, makes me feel like a real hypochondriac, but I guess that's just one of the many things we have to deal with!!

    God bless, Di
  • tlmac
    tlmac Member Posts: 272 Member
    Hi Meems, My IDC was caught at stage 2A. I had 4 cycles of AC and am now taking Arimidex. My oncologist only does tumor markers to monitor metastatic disease or if you are symptomatic following treatment. The thing about these tests is that tumor markers can fluctuate 10-20% just from lab to lab or from one test to the next. Ovulation can elevate them as can a large cyst on the
    ovaries. An inflammation of the colon from extended diarrhea (perhaps from a virus) or
    sometimes lung infections can elevate CA27-29. Endometriosis can elevate the results. There are several not breast cancer related situations that can elevate CA-125 as well. I've found it depends on your diagnosis and prognosis as well as your oncologist's confidence in the test that determines if they get ordered. Discuss your concerns with your doctor and go with a list of questions to make sure you get all the answers you need. Good luck.
  • frog08
    frog08 Member Posts: 26
    Hey, I didn't see your message until after I posted my own. I am confused about the tumor marker deal as well. Mine has gone up since July from 18 to 28 to 31. My doc seemed fine with this until my husband expressed concern. Now I'm having a CT and Bone scan Monday. I'm really scared, but don't really understand about the tumor marker. I started my period after a year in October. Do you think that would have anything to do with the tumor marker going up??