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All TopicsForum: Just Diagnosed with a Recurrence or Metastasis → Topic: Cancer marker

Topic: Cancer marker

Forum: Just Diagnosed with a Recurrence or Metastasis — Meet others who are just facing the diagnosis of a recurrence of breast cancer or metastatic (advanced) disease. You are NOT alone.

Posted on: Jan 17, 2011 10:44PM

lady4law wrote:

Could someone tell me what range should be for CA 3-15?

When I was first DX my tumor marker was 20 or 21. I believe it went down to zero after treatment, but am not sure as my Oncologist rarely talks with me about anything. If I ask a question, he looks at me like I am an idiot and would not understand anything. However my last cancer marker test was "elevated". He said it was around 35. My PCP told me it was 35.2 and had risen over 50% between my last 2 appointments.

As I my last 2 CTs and PETs have had very strange results, I have been Googling CA 15-3 cancer markers and cannot find a reliable answer to my question, what is a bad number? 

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Posts 1 - 19 (19 total)

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Jan 18, 2011 06:34AM mamaof3bugs wrote:

0-37 is considered the normal range. 

Angi~

Dx 1/22/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/12 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 18, 2011 07:37AM carcharm wrote:

I go to docs at the Cleveland Clinic and they will not do tumor markers on me. They say they are not accurate. I believe they do them on stage iv pt's only as there tumor load is higher thus rendering more accurate results. The anxiety of knowing your levels are up has to be frustrating. I thought about asking if they would do these levels on me but the last thing I need is more anxiety!!

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Jan 18, 2011 07:53AM lago wrote:

FYI I was told when I first met my onc that don't do them either as she doesn't feel they are reliable. Not sure about stage IV though.

DONE!! alturl.com/3o9ni • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010

Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 19, 2011 10:09PM lady4law wrote:

What's scary is when I was dx Sage 3 - Grade 9, I was only 20 or 21, now, after 2 sets of bad PETs and CRs, I am 35, and climbing.

As far as it not being reliable, I was told that is because you can have a low, or no, cancer marker and still have cancer. I'd rather error in favor of life, than ignore the results....I want answers. If I had clear scans, maybe I'd feel different, but couple with my intense back pain, I am very frirghten

TNBC, Chemo/TC (5), Surgeries, Lump, Mast/Rec, move PM 4 rads, infection(2),Exch, Re-do(2), tumor '09/B9, lesions: Thyroid, kidney, sinus, mastoid, "activity' spine/hip, mini/strokes, 12/10 Scan Spina Bifida (L1,2,3,4)

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Jan 26, 2011 11:19AM MarieK wrote:

I just had mine done and I'm at 18 - according to my lab testing a result less than 45 is not flagged for follow up

Do you also do the CA 125 test?

8/09 Left Mast 10/09 6 rnds FEC 3/10 28xRADs Tamoxifen+Zometa 9/10 300cc TE 2/11 Allergan 410FX Gummy 560cc&reduce rt breast 1/12 reduce rt again 120 cc 5/13 fat graft 6/13 3cm bone met rt femur 7/13 10xRADs 3/14 fat graft & tummy tuck

Dx 7/4/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 1/5 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-Chemotherapy 10/07/2009 Cytoxan, Ellence, fluorouracilRadiation Therapy 04/07/2010 ExternalHormonal Therapy 06/01/2010 TamoxifenRadiation Therapy 07/05/2013 ExternalHormonal Therapy 09/27/2013 Arimidex
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Jan 26, 2011 03:55PM anneflorida wrote:

I am stage 3a and my oncologist does Ca 15-3 markers.  My first marker before treatment was 32.1 and a year later after surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation the Ca 15.3 was 33.4.  My doctor doesn't seem worried though he is going to do a PET scan in April because I had an 8 cm tumor and 9 positive nodes.  I would love to know if there are any others who stay slightly elevated.

Dx 12/12/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 9/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 26, 2011 04:06PM Lowrider54 wrote:

This will trip you out - I just got mine today - I am at 106.  Now, this is down from the almost 200 from a year ago in November 2009 to beginning in October 2010, I have ranged in the 102 to 106 range - where they want me 100 - 120 - I have stabilized.  I think markers are relative to an individual - some onc's will look at the charts for 'normal' range - others, such as mine aren't concerned about the number itself but how the number changes in me over the course of time.  Combined with the scans indicating 'Overall, the mutiple lesions are less pronounced than the previous scan' and the turmor markers remaining stable over a 4 month span of time and almost half of what they were at first dx of the mets - I heard the words 'stable' today. 

I have extensive bone mets to the spine so while 'elevated', it is stable for me. 

Smile...it will make people wonder what you are up to...Initial dx 04/99 - CMF; 9/2009 bone mets Arimidex; 6/2010 Faslodex/Xgeva; 8/2011; abdominal wall invaded, ER/PR flipped to TN, Abraxane/Avastin//Xgeva 09/02/2011; 11/2011Xeloda/Avastin/Xgeva.

Dx 9/16/2009, Stage IV, 5/25 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 26, 2011 08:00PM susan_02143 wrote:

I am going to push back here. The idea that "blood markers are unreliable for ALL breast cancer patients" is no more accurate than "blood markers are reliable for ALL breast cancer patients."

Blood markers are accurate for some breast cancer patients. I happen to be one of them. Because my markers are a good reflection of my cancer activity, I don't have to be scanned as often and still get a monthly benchmark. For this, I am grateful.

And I am down to an 85! Sharon and I are sharing the Stable Boy.  :-)

Hope this helps, *susan* 

... and its back. May 3, 2010 mets found. Three years hanging with NED on Faslodex.

Dx 6/8/2005, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIb, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 27, 2011 12:34PM Lowrider54 wrote:

Woo Hoo *susan* I am finally with you!

I think as with anything else with this disease - there is no such thing as 'ALL' or 'NONE' - I totally agree with you and now that they do show a definate correlation between my markers and the activity, they are proving to be reliable for me as well.   

Now, let's make our way to getting to meet Reggie and NED...

Hugs...Low

Smile...it will make people wonder what you are up to...Initial dx 04/99 - CMF; 9/2009 bone mets Arimidex; 6/2010 Faslodex/Xgeva; 8/2011; abdominal wall invaded, ER/PR flipped to TN, Abraxane/Avastin//Xgeva 09/02/2011; 11/2011Xeloda/Avastin/Xgeva.

Dx 9/16/2009, Stage IV, 5/25 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 27, 2011 08:32PM bevin wrote:

Hi Everyone, I believe the NCCN guidlines do not call for tumor markers to be run routinely anymore as inconsistent results monthly do  not mean you have an issue.  They look for a pattern of increasing and steady climbing of the markers over a period of time when determining if additional tests are needed. 

BTW - my Onco does run them each time I visit even though they are not protocol anymore. He feels they can give you a heads up to be more diligent and perhaps do a bit more checking.

Hope that helps, Bevin

Age 45, Oncotype 11, Primary Tumor 2.1 cm, smaller satellite tumor nearby

Dx 8/8/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 08/10/2010 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Radiation Therapy 10/10/2010 External
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Feb 18, 2011 10:45PM, edited Feb 18, 2011 10:48PM by poohfan

I know this thread has not been posted in a while but I just found out that my CA15-3  marker is increasing and my CT Scan showed that I had new lesions on my liver.  I think it depends on the person as to whether the blood marker will tell you about your cancer.  Two Oncologists, one was a 2nd opinion, have told me that my blood marker is a very good indication as to what my cancer is doing.  When it increases from being at a steady level then my cancer is back.  I am not sure how you get your history on the bottom of your post but this will be my third time with cancer. I was first diagnoised in 2003 with Stage III,  the second time, 2009 stage IV, and now in 2011.  I am ER/PR pos.

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Mar 8, 2011 02:53AM Treso wrote:

Does anyone have the circulating tumor cell marker (CTC or cell search) done?

Treso

Never cook bacon naked...

Dx 6/23/2008, ILC, 2cm, Stage IV, 5/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 8, 2011 03:32PM lady4law wrote:

Lowrider Did you have the CA 15-3  or the 27.29 (CA 27.29) test? 

From the info I have found, over 35 is of concern

TNBC, Chemo/TC (5), Surgeries, Lump, Mast/Rec, move PM 4 rads, infection(2),Exch, Re-do(2), tumor '09/B9, lesions: Thyroid, kidney, sinus, mastoid, "activity' spine/hip, mini/strokes, 12/10 Scan Spina Bifida (L1,2,3,4)

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Jul 14, 2011 07:21PM Rebas2 wrote:

I am not sure who I am addressing this to??  I have not been told anything about cancer markers or the CA 125 test (I think this is a blood test?) by my Oncologist.  I just went to my family doctor to try to get a physical and see what tests I should have done (how regularly) to stay on top of being cancer free.  I don't feel like I got anywhere other than waiting on results to find out if I am truly in menopause.  My Oncologist tells me no PET scans unless I have symptoms/pains. Can anyone explain the markers -how you ended up getting them and how or why you get scans routinely?  I feel like I am searching blindly for information on the Internet.  It is nice to talk to people who have actually experienced these things.  Thank you everyone for sharing your stories :-)

Dx 7/26/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 5/11 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 14, 2011 08:40PM Gitane wrote:

Hi Rebas2,  I have never had any scans other than the original PET/CT I had when I was diagnosed to see if the cancer had already metastasized.  I am not monitored with scans of any kind.  I do get a "tumor marker" blood test (CA15-3) as part of the bloodwork my oncologist does when I see him every 6 months.  He checks my CBC's (complete blood count) and a chemistry panel to check if my liver and kidneys are O.K. before my Zometa infusion.  My oncologist must feel that the tumor marker blood test has the potential to help me, having a record of them and watching how they change or don't change.  I don't know.  I told my I don't want to know the results of the TM test unless it would help me in some way.  He has respected my wishes on this, so I don't know what my TM's are or have been.  I don't even know if they would work on me, they don't work for everyone.  I don't think the professionals agree about "early intervention" if the TM's go up, ie will you have a better QOL or live longer catching the relapse early?  Anyway, that's how it has been for me.  I'm sure others will share their stories here, too.  Hugs,  G.

Dx 8/18/05, Pleomorphic ILC, multifocal, multicentric, G2, 1/9 nodes positive, OncotypeDX 23, ER+ PR- Her2-

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Jul 24, 2011 03:24PM CoolBreeze wrote:

I'm Stage IV and my tumor markers have always been in normal ranges.

I tend to think I agree that they are unreliable.  :) 

Ann's cancer blog: www.butdoctorihatepink.com .....multicentric/multifocal IDC/ILC+DCIS/LCIS/ADH Official dx? "Your breast was a mess." ~UniMastectomy/Chemo/Herceptin/Tamoxifen/Recon Almost Done! Oh wait. mets to liver 5/21/11 Now Stage IV

Dx 8/17/2009, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Aug 4, 2011 06:16PM kt1966 wrote:

I just posted on Worried about Recurrence. My Ca15-3 has gone up to 387 (from 55 at the end of last year). Scans are normal, but I have decided to be proactive & have started zoladex & letrozole just in case. I read somewhere that the markers can show recurrence 2-18 months before there is physical evidence of it... But there are so many differing opinions on them.

Here's hoping for the best! :) 

Age at Diagnosis: 37

Dx 12/11/2003, ILC, 4cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 2, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 12/16/2003 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Chemotherapy 02/25/2004 Adriamycin, CytoxanRadiation Therapy 05/26/2004 ExternalSurgery 10/08/2013 Prophylactic Mastectomy (Left)
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Aug 4, 2011 09:09PM Moderators wrote:

Here is a link on our site, in case you would like to read it. 

http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/blood_marker.jsp

Best of luck,

The Mods 

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...

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Aug 18, 2011 02:22AM Treso wrote:

Rebas2:

I hope this info still helps since your last post was back on the 4th.  After my initial Stage III diagnosis and treatment completed, I was on Tamoxifen.  I had my markers done every three months and PET Scans done every six months.  I had a recurrence last August (mets to my bones) at which time I got shots of Faslodex and an infusion of Zometa every month.  I started getting PET Scans every three months.  In April, a tumor on my liver showed up so during a PET, so, I'm back doing chemo.  I get my markers now done every month and a PET scan during my third week while I'm off chemo (two weeks on, one week off).

I know everyone is different and all oncs are different.  It's been valuable doing the tumor markers in my case.  I hope this info helps.


Treso

Never cook bacon naked...

Dx 6/23/2008, ILC, 2cm, Stage IV, 5/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-