Tumor Marker Up

jmears Member Posts: 266
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I haven't been here for a very long time. I was hoping that I had moved away from the cancer phase of my life. I was DX in 2000. Stage II. I had lumpectomy, Chemo, radiation, and tamoxifen. I have another 1.5 years on the Tamoxifen. My recent tumor markers were up. Since they had been up two checks before my oncologist ordered a PET and CT scan which I had yesterday. I also had a mammogram which was found to be normal. Haven't heard about the scans yet. So...the DR says it could be nothing ...but won't say what it could be otherwise. Does anyone have experience with fluctuating tumor markers? I was Her2/nue strongly positive so I am pretty high risk for recurrance. Thanks for reading my thoughts!!! Good luck to all you strong women going through treatment. I will say I didn't know how bad I felt during treatment until I started feeling good again. It sneaks up on you ...probably so we can adjust. But ...when it's done you'll feel so good again (although it may take time).


  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member

    Happy to hear that you've been doing so well!

    I'm 4 years out and my tumor markers have "blipped" only once since treatment ended.

    My advice is not to get too concerned right away.
    Many things can effect tumor markers. Certain supplements, stress, a cold or virus, smoking, etc. and my onc. said that one patient's markers rose after getting a sunburn!

    What my onc. did was repeat the test in 6 weeks.
    Mine had only risen 3 points at that time and when retested, was back to normal. I was hormone neg. and Her2 positive (3+), so my tumor was an aggressive little beast as well.

    According to my onc.,if markers steadily continue to rise then they begin looking for a possible reason, after trying to rule out some of the common causes, as mentioned above. Typically a bone scan, MRI, etc.. Just what your doc is doing.

    Don't know if this will help ease your mind but my onc. said that typically, it's like looking for a needle in a haystack, without any other symptoms, such as chronic or recurrent pain, etc.. Thus, she says that most mets are discovered due to symptoms.

    Keep in mind that many here have experienced rising (sometimes very high) tumor markers, and no reason at all can be found. Still others have had recurrence/mets and the markers either did not change, or went down. Go figure!

    Markers are just a tool doctor's are trying to determine the value of, really. They can mean something or mean nothing. Hope that may help some while you're waiting for the test results.

    Please keep us posted and my fingers are crossed that your test results will be just fine!

    Love, light and laughter,
  • martyzl
    martyzl Member Posts: 196
    Good to see you again! (Jean, wasn't it? Egad, it has been a LONG time!)

    As the incomparable Ink said, don't fret...
    Some of us don't even get these tumour marker tests! My Onc. doesn't do them.
    I was also ER/PR(-) and Her2Neu(3+) and will be 3 yrs since dx next month. Am trying not to sweat back pain and will be doing the testing right behind you!
    It's tough not to worry, isn't it?!? Even if we move away from it, isn't it always there, in the back of our minds? This can be a good thing, if we learned from it. *smiles*

    Please do keep us in the loop, drop by from time to time, yes?
    I'll be sending you calming, healthy energies and wishes for many more cancer-free years!

    Be well!