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Question about Tumor Marker Test

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Penny View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 15 2019 at 11:47pm
Hi Everyone,

I have a quick question.  I am rounding my two year mark and am heading into a 6 month check up with my medical oncologist.  She has ordered tumor marker testing.  I haven't had this before.  Is this anything to be concerned about?  

I am glad to have this site to come in and out of over the years.  I watch the posts of newly diagnosed ladies and know how scared they are.  It gets better!  I always do get anxious every 6 months heading into check ups.  When do they go to 1 year?  

Blessings to each and every one of you.

Penny  
DX IDC, TNBC 12/7/16 (age 55), Stage 1a Grade 2, .6cm, 0/1 nodes, Lumpectomy & node dissection 12/22/16, BRCA1&2 negative 1/23/17 Chemo TC. Chemo completed 3/28/17. 30 RADs completed 6/6/17.

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123Donna View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2019 at 8:13am
Hi Penny,

Some oncologists use tumor marker tests and others don't feel they are reliable.  It's a simple blood test.

Here's some more information on them and the different types:




DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Penny View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2019 at 10:33pm
Thanks Donna,  Did you have marker testing?  I am on the fence.  

Thanks, Penny
DX IDC, TNBC 12/7/16 (age 55), Stage 1a Grade 2, .6cm, 0/1 nodes, Lumpectomy & node dissection 12/22/16, BRCA1&2 negative 1/23/17 Chemo TC. Chemo completed 3/28/17. 30 RADs completed 6/6/17.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2019 at 11:14pm
Yes, I did.  My first oncologist ran the CA 27.29 on me.  She also ran the CA 125 test.  During the first year following my treatment, my tumor markers were always in the normal range.  They were even with the normal range when we found my recurrence.  They may have eventually spiked if we had not found my recurrence when we did.  Personally, I think they can be a good guideline to see if there are major changes.  A change of a few points don't necessarily mean recurrence or mets, it may be attributable to other causes like inflammation, infection.  So they can create some anxiety if they fall outside of the normal range.  They can also give you a peace of mind if they seem normal.

They are useful in the metastatic setting, helping to see the effectiveness of treatment.  I had a friend who had ovarian cancer.  She had the CA 15-3 test.  When her cancer was under control, the markers were quite low, eg. 13.  When the cancer was active, her markers would go up quite a bit, say from 13 to 140 to 700. 
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kellyless Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2019 at 12:00pm
My tumor markers were normal with my recurrence. It's not a good test for us as a standalone search for our disease, but like Donna said, it is useful for finding it _sometimes_ especially with mets. I'd have no issue of my doc wanted to add it to my quarterly labs. 

I had my 2 1/2 year post PCR results after mastectomy appointment (that's the date they're using for me for milestone dates.. 2 year & 5 year being the significant ones) labs were perfect, all seems well. Then comes, "I wAnt you to have a thyroid ultrasound" . Say whut??? Just routine, considering all my treatment, especially the radiation. 

Sigh. It's always something. And I thought this would be a delightfully uneventful appointment. 
IDC, 2.2 cm, Stage IIb,lumpectomy 1/30/09 ACx4,Tx4 36 rads
6/1/16 Local recurrence same breast, same spot 1.8cm Carb.4x every 3 wks, Taxol 12x once wk. Dbl Mast. PCR!! Reconstruction fail, NED!
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Penny View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2019 at 12:14pm
Thank you Kelly.  That sounds stressful.  I finished my radiation treatment on 6/2017.  Is it safe to say I am hitting my 2 year mark?  
DX IDC, TNBC 12/7/16 (age 55), Stage 1a Grade 2, .6cm, 0/1 nodes, Lumpectomy & node dissection 12/22/16, BRCA1&2 negative 1/23/17 Chemo TC. Chemo completed 3/28/17. 30 RADs completed 6/6/17.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leahstuffle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2019 at 12:24pm
Hey, Penny. I have verified mets and all three of the tumor marker tests came back very low. I don't understand how these work, but I can tell you I knew something was wrong. Trust your body!
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Penny View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 19 2019 at 7:58pm
Thank you Kelly.  I appreciate your response.  Good luck to you.  Please keep us posted on how you are doing.  ~Penny 
DX IDC, TNBC 12/7/16 (age 55), Stage 1a Grade 2, .6cm, 0/1 nodes, Lumpectomy & node dissection 12/22/16, BRCA1&2 negative 1/23/17 Chemo TC. Chemo completed 3/28/17. 30 RADs completed 6/6/17.

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