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Elevated CA 15-3

2

Comments

  • MRock
    MRock Member Posts: 34
    edited February 2016

    Hello all,

    Thanks to each of you for very interesting information.

    Sailawayaus, I hope your radiation helps with the pain, and I'm truly sorry for your situation. Perhaps we should ask our MOs to follow our blood serum levels a bit more closely; CA 15.3 in particular has been shown to be fairly reliably predictive. Even though we should keep in mind what csbees pointed out above, that there are reasons independent of tumor growth or metastases that can make CA 15.3 numbers go up or down, a change would be a good starting point for further testing.

    I'm writing about that today: In light of a small surge in my CA 15.3 level, I'd like to ask my OM to monitor my serum levels serially and frequently, to make sure the surge isn't instead a slowly increasing red flag indicating I'm not responding to chemo. Do any of you know of recommendations on frequency of CA 15.3 testing in these cases? Once/week? Twice/month? Once/month?

    Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge and experience with me!


  • JuniperCat
    JuniperCat Member Posts: 392
    edited March 2016

    Hello! Can anyone please tell me when it is appropriate for blood work to be done? None of my doctors have ordered any blood work for me. Should I ask my MO to run CA15-3 or CA27.29?Many thanks!!

  • bevin
    bevin Member Posts: 519
    edited February 2016

    HI Juniper,

    as I understand, running blood test for tumor markers is not standard of care . Its usually done for those with Mets to track progression/regression, etc.

    Some doctors do run them on lower stage, mine is one of those. He does them at my six month , now annual check ups.

    You could ask your doctor to run a baseline to see if they're in normal range. Don't be surprised if he /she states it s not necessary.

    Good luck.

  • JuniperCat
    JuniperCat Member Posts: 392
    edited March 2016

    Thanks, Bevin, I will ask him! So far, he hasn't suggested any tests. In fact, I was the one who requested the Oncotype and then when that came in at intermediate I asked him to order the MammaPrint test. I am a little baffled as to why I am the one requesting these tests and not him

  • bevin
    bevin Member Posts: 519
    edited February 2016

    I'd assume with stage 1A, he feels based on most stats you are at very low risk for any further issues. Good you had the Oncotype and it looks like you were able to go without chemo. Congrats. That's good news. Good luck with your doctor visit.

  • JuniperCat
    JuniperCat Member Posts: 392
    edited March 2016

    Thanks, Bevin! My guess is that he puts a lot of faith in the MammaPrint result that came in high...I still am confused as to why I am requesting these tests and he's not the onesuggesting them especially if now he's recommending chemo!

  • lissalou
    lissalou Member Posts: 48
    edited April 2016

    My ca15. 3 increased 17 points in one month. During this past month I had a Zometa infusion. Would the Zometa cause the increase in the tumor marker? I should mention that my markers had been steadily falling since beginning treatment with ibrance and femara. Any advice appreciated.

  • Scarlett1
    Scarlett1 Member Posts: 4
    edited September 2016

    I am 18 years out from breast cancer - found early not large no lymph involvement. I had almost 2 years of infection following surgery, chemo and radiation. In 2003, just when I was hitting my magic 5 year mark, I was found to have uterine and fallopian cancers (two separate cancers - not mets) more chemo - bald again...

    I have regular checkups and usually run from 20 - 25 range for CA 15-3 test (our lab says anything over 25 is high). My recent appointment showed lab results at 30.9 for 15-3. I am scheduled for an MRI, Pet Scan and Bone Scan plus more blood work. I try not to worry or stress but my experience is that cancer can come back - it has for me... I will have all testing completed by the middle of September. In the mean time, I am really working on not spending time with negative thoughts.

    When I read here about a woman with readings over 4300 - I feel alarm and very sorry for her... but it sort of shuts up my "I am so worried" conversation in my brain.

  • KBeee
    KBeee Member Posts: 695
    edited September 2016

    Hoping your scans are clear. You've been through so much

  • murphy46
    murphy46 Member Posts: 1
    edited June 2017

    hi...my CA 15-3 came back at 37...when I saw that 35 was a normal high...I panicked. My doctor was not worried at all! My internist wasn't concerned either! I have fibroids in my uterus and an arthritic knee..both issues can raise the markers. I m trying very hard not to be anxious...it I so tough! I will feel a lot better after my pt scan,tho.

    I am trying to listen to my doctors and not worry...I m 11 years breast cancer free!

    Try to relax...I think we're fine!

  • persila24
    persila24 Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2017

    Hi every one. My mom has 54 years old .Her ca13_5 is 26.85 from 25 range!The lab put the refrence range on 25 but when I reed your opinions most of you said your reference was less than 30 . I am very worry about my mom.Are there anyone in here to help me?.Is it very worriable resulte for my mom?Another her markers is normal.Sad


    thanks

  • cive
    cive Member Posts: 265
    edited August 2017

    Unless markers go up dramatically, like double or triple, they don't mean much.  Some MOs don't even follow them.

  • dacre
    dacre Member Posts: 7
    edited September 2017

    HI All....do a lot of reading of everyone's questions and answers, felt I might step in and say how I feel. I was dx in August 2014, Stage I 2+ cm IDC, no lodes involved and Non-invasive b/c that had yet to raise it's ugly head. My oncotype didn't come back as everyone (Oncologist/Surgeon/Radiologist/Myself) had expected. The expectation of it returning was in the "I don't know" range...not words you want to hear from your oncologist! So I choose to do chemo followed by 6 1/2 weeks of radiation followed up with 5 years of Armidex. I see the oncologist every 3 months and each time they perform blood work, part of which is the CA15-3 tumor marker. The nurses have assured me that as long as the tumor marker hasn't changed I wouldn't hear from them. 3 years and no change....until this week. The Oncologist Nurse called me, blood work back, tumor markers have increased and I need to have a CT scan......Complete melt down, b/c earlier that day was a dermatology appt. This is a 2nd opinion office that I really like and they have the records/pathology reports from the 1st dermatologist. Since my skin condition hasn't improved, the Doctor said "I'm Perplexed".....As a cancer patient....those are not words you want a doctor to say....new biopsy on the opposite leg and more injections on the right leg. Once the lidocaine wore off...I could barely walk....hence the phone call from the onco doctors office. Complete melt down.....I must have this stupid CANCER everywhere! No one can figure it out!!!... Took my xanax....after my husband went to the pharmacy ...calmed down and slept. Next day, I called the Oncologist office. It appears that my "CN15-3" from 25 to 26 1/2! Now I find out the Oncologist has ordered 4 different scans...pelvic, liver, lung and then a full bone density scan. I asked why? Why not just repeat the blood work....that would be a bit easier and less expensive! Apparently, I have an oncologist that prefers to be "pro-active" and/or maybe feels I'm at a high risk that it may return. I just think that a jump of 25 which is my normal to 26 1/2 is a bit overreacting. Please tell you opinions !!!!

  • marianelizabeth
    marianelizabeth Member Posts: 1,156
    edited September 2017

    Sounds like a bit over the top but I can understand why you are anxious though. In Canada they do not do oncotype testing unless there is a reason~~i.e. family history. Markers also are rarely done. After the first year we normally see our MO every 6 months if on an AI and back to to GP if not. My MO told me that markers can be inconsistent (and I hear this from many other Canadians too) and so unless there are symptoms markers are rarely ordered.

    However you seem to indicate there is a skin issue too? Have you asked your MO why so many tests ordered just from results of one test?


  • Lucy55
    Lucy55 Member Posts: 2,703
    edited September 2017

    Marian ..I think that's hardly a rise ...I had my CA15 3 done last month ..the results were fine , but I took the opportunity to asked the BS would it be a worry if they raised a little , but were still in the normal range ..and he said no he wouldnt worry if that happened ..I wish my BS wouldn't order the tests ..they cause so much worry and stress ..Do you know what date you are having your scans ? Sorry you are going through this ...

  • marianelizabeth
    marianelizabeth Member Posts: 1,156
    edited September 2017

    Lucy, I will have a chest CT in Nov. I actually asked my MO on a phone call in July to do markers in desperation of what was going on and my CA15-3 was 25 and the lab says beside it that it is not necessarily an indication of anything even though over 15. What number did you have and what was the reason for having it done? Just realized I am not sure how I am here~~must have added it as a favourite. And really I should not be on here since I have recurred albeit only August 22.

    Where are you in Australia and how are you feeling


  • dacre
    dacre Member Posts: 7
    edited October 2017

    I've been out of State visiting with my son and daughter-in-law....and Mary....my new granddaughter!

    Since I've returned, I've been told that my Tumor Marker has increased....not just what I originally thought....but significantly since June 2017...


    After Chemo and Radiation the base line was normally 15-16.....In June 2017 it rose to 22....then in September it went up again to 26.5.

    The oncologist has ordered many many many scans and tests.

    Although I refuse to ever say the word "hate".....I must say ....I HATE CANCER :(

  • dtad
    dtad Member Posts: 771
    edited October 2017

    dacre...try to calm down. My MO at a major NYC university hospital told me he does not feel the CA-15-3 is reliable. also there is a difference between having it watched if you are stage 4 vs stage 1. Good luck and keep us posted.

  • dacre
    dacre Member Posts: 7
    edited October 2017

    Thank you for calming me down.....Whenever I begin to feel "normal" something else happens. Not sure I'll ever feel normal again, but I won't feel afraid. :)


  • marianelizabeth
    marianelizabeth Member Posts: 1,156
    edited October 2017

    dacre, it will never be what the old normal was like but there will gradually be a new normal which will work for you. In Canada, tumour markers are rarely done as they really can tbeunreliable just as dtad said.

    Marian

  • Angie823
    Angie823 Member Posts: 2
    edited January 2018

    In July 2017, my oncologist switched from testing for breast cancer re-occurrence from tumor marker CA27-29 to CA15-3. The lab's normal upper limit for CA15-3 is 25. Mine came back at 32.8. He repeated the test 6 months later and it rose to 36.8. I went for a PET scan and waiting for the results. Being very talented on searching the Internet for answers, I came across an FDA ALERT posted November 2017. regarding Biotin interference with various blood tests, including CA15-3. The FDA says that any intake about 30 mcg per day can cause a significant change in CA15-3 results. I take 10,000 mcg per day. I am a 10 year survivor, with no other tests, lab or imaging, pointing to a re-occurence. The PET should tell me more. If it comes back normal, I am sure the oncologist will repeat the CA15-3 after I discontinue the biotin.

  • KBeee
    KBeee Member Posts: 695
    edited January 2018

    Hoping it is clear and you can just stop the biotin

  • efda337
    efda337 Member Posts: 2
    edited March 2018

    Hello,

    My wife ca 15-3 has been as high as 250s for the last 3 years, no cancer found anywhere, no symptoms. Last reading went up to 503, no symptoms, doctor order all the test aging for next week. Very stressful.

    Take care.

  • Hodgbc
    Hodgbc Member Posts: 1
    edited June 2018

    Hello all, just found this site. I have concerns that I'm hoping others can help with. First, I had Hodgkin's lymphoma in 1982. Then dx in 2011 w bc. Had horrible effects/reactions to my chemo. My last tmt for the bc was in 2013. I only had mastectomies and chemo. I was not a candidate for radiation since I had lifetime limit in the 80's. So.... Since the bc tmt I've been in chronic pain. My tumor markers fluctuated, but have steadily increased. My last appt in 4/18 the numbers spiked to 40. My Dr called me that evening (after hrs phone calls are never good) to let me know that blood work shows "high possibility" of recurrence. Insurance is not approving pet scan. So I get on the web and see that other things can cause spike in the tumor markers. But cannot find what those things are. Anyone have any knowledge here?

    Btw, I'm a worrier. Also, my Dr knows that if I am ever diagnosed again, I would not do chemo for the 3rd time.

  • heartjoy
    heartjoy Member Posts: 3
    edited June 2018

    Last year, over a period of 7 months, my CA 15-3 went from 40 to 885. After changing meds, the value went down by about 200 points a month until this January, when it hit 41. Since then it's gone down to 30 but is now 59. Not great, but far more acceptable than 885!

  • Cjs47
    Cjs47 Member Posts: 6
    edited September 2018

    Hi,

    When I was diagnosed almost four years ago, no tumor markers were ever done. My oncologist doesn’t do them. I saw my primary a few weeks ago just for a regular check up, and he ordered blood work and included in that work up were the ca 15-3 and ca 27-29 tests. My ca 15-3 was 35.8 and ca 27-29 was 33. I was told their normal for ca 15-3 is 35 and I will be monitored since it is a bit elevated. I’m worried because every site I’m on it says the “high” normal is 30. Any thoughts? Not having any symptoms, but very worried. No talk of anyscans being done.

  • Adebee
    Adebee Member Posts: 1
    edited November 2018

    Hello:

    Good day. I hope this message finds you well. My CA 15/3 result just jumped from 31.5 to 335. I am in serious panic mood right now. What changes did you make to your drugs? Initially by CA15/3 was 16 after Chemo. Then I started to use Xeloda and stopped chemo - it got to 31.5 and then because we felt Xeloda was not working, tried other meds and now its 335.

  • KBeee
    KBeee Member Posts: 695
    edited December 2018

    Does your doctor plan to follow up based on those test results

  • notmargaret
    notmargaret Member Posts: 28
    edited March 2019

    Hi All. Unbeknownst to me, an integrative doc I visited regarding diet, exercise, etc. ran CA 15-3 and CA 27-29 tumor markers on my blood samples. My CA 27-29 came back well within normal range, but my CA 15-3 came back elevated at 35 (25 or lower is normal). I've never had these run before as my oncologists are not believers. Needless to say, I now am concerned (aka, freaked out!), especially given my original Stage 3A diagnosis a little over two years ago. I would love to hear anything reassuring and also any thoughts/experiences of inconsistent markers (one elevated and one in range). Thanks much.

  • jo6359
    jo6359 Member Posts: 2,009
    edited March 2019

    notmargaret-My oncologist believes the CA-15.3 is unreliable. If other CA labs are showing similar results then further testing might be required. He uses it in conjunction with other cancer screenings. Don't panic.