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Cancer Markers

Allidoisyoga's picture
Allidoisyoga
Posts: 31
Joined: Apr 2020

Hi! 

 

I was at my naturopath the other day... and he said the oncologist should be tracking cancer markers.  This is the first time, I had heard this.  My oncologist draws blood before my biweekly FOLFOX treatment... and not once told me about these markers.

 

I plan to ask the oncologist at my next treatment... but could anyone tell me what type of markers are standard to look at? 

 

Thank you so much for your support and for listening.  

SnapDragon2's picture
SnapDragon2
Posts: 321
Joined: Nov 2019

He should be checking CEA (but some don't while patient is on chemo, not sure why) if its a good marker for you.  If it isn't I would suggest CA19-9 and maybe LDH 1-5 also.  Do you know what you MCV is?  It is a marker related to chemo activity.

I would lbe good to know presurgery level, post surgery level and pre-chemo level if they were taken.

Let us know!

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 1103
Joined: Apr 2017

I remember a PA saying, sometime in the course of my treatment, "let me check your tumor markers."  I was like, "tumor markers, what the heck is that?"  It turns out he was merely refering to the CEA, which most oncologists seem to check on a regular basis with the other blood tests.  I used to review my blood tests carefully, but things that seemed to concern me did not concern the oncologist, so I stopped looking at them in advance of the appointments.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5222
Joined: Jan 2013

Oncologist do not all follow the same protocol.  My Oncologist never check my CEA during treatment, becasue he said that chemo can skew the results.  Other Oncologist will do it regularly.  

It is something you can talk to your Oncologist about, and I am sure, even if he is against it, he would order it if you wanted. It's your money paying for it, after all. 

Tru

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6549
Joined: Feb 2009

CEA is the normal marker that they check.  Usually that is one of the first markers they get and that is a good starting point since you have active cancer they can monitor your count whether it goes up or down.  Mine never changed and was always normal, so having this CEA checked can help in some patients, but not effective in others.  If it is a good marker for you, then it would be a good reason to keep checking this.  Hope this answers your question.

Kim

SnapDragon2's picture
SnapDragon2
Posts: 321
Joined: Nov 2019

Very good move having a naturopath involved!

Allidoisyoga's picture
Allidoisyoga
Posts: 31
Joined: Apr 2020

Honestly the most helpful thing from my naturopath has been to keep myself as hyrdrated as possible.  I have added on IV fluids during my chemo weeks... and that has made things better.  

 

Have a beautiful day!!

SnapDragon2's picture
SnapDragon2
Posts: 321
Joined: Nov 2019

What IV fluids do you take?  I took IVC (75grams) before/after surgery and during chemo.

Allidoisyoga's picture
Allidoisyoga
Posts: 31
Joined: Apr 2020

I dont know which type of fluids are being given to me.  On my first day of infusion, they have to give me a different type because the "normal fluid" interacts with one of the chemo infusions.  And then on the next 2 days I get a liter of, i think, basic saline solution.  

 

I will ask, but the extra fluids really help with the multiple tummy problems I had... and just overall keep me from feeling like a train wreck.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5222
Joined: Jan 2013

Knowing what they are giving you is important.

My guess, from what you are saying, is that the 48 infusion, via pump I presume, is 5FU, which is another chemo mix.  I could be wrong, or you could be wrong. Thus, it is important for you to find out. 

Tru

Tueffel
Posts: 108
Joined: Feb 2020

My dad got at the beginning CEA, Ca 19-9 and PSA (for prostate cancer, probably routine). The CEA got checked regularly. Once at the time of duagnosis, pre chemo, pre and post surgery. After the colon surgery the CEA and also the CEA were normal again. You could say they measure it after big treatment steps. 

This weekly blood drawings are to check how the body responds to the chemo. Chemotherapy is a drug and drugs are metabolized by the liver and cleared by the kidney. So they need to check if these organs are not too overwhelmed. Then they check platelets, wbc and rbc to see if everything is still good to continue. 

Allidoisyoga's picture
Allidoisyoga
Posts: 31
Joined: Apr 2020

Thank you friends for helping me understand this.  I don't remember ever having my CEA levels told to me.  I am not sure if this is a good marker for me or not.  But thank you so much for your knowledge and information.  

 

I will be following up with my oncologist on Tuesday, my next infusion, to see what he says.  Thank you so much for listening and taking the time to respond.  Have a beautiful day friends. 

SnapDragon2's picture
SnapDragon2
Posts: 321
Joined: Nov 2019

Did you get the answers you need?

Allidoisyoga's picture
Allidoisyoga
Posts: 31
Joined: Apr 2020

Thank you for checking in.  I had an ER visit before my last round... and my whole oncologist appointment was spent discussing this.  

I have it on my checklist for Monday.... my next chemo round.  Ugh this treatment is grueling.

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