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Tumor markers elevated, a little worried right now.

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  • Kindergarten
    Kindergarten Member Posts: 2,883
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    Hi, Many, sorry that you are dealing with this issue, and Goldie has the right advice! Is your onc suggesting a bone or pet scan? 

  • goldie0827
    goldie0827 Member Posts: 6,835
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    Let me also say, that the other ladies here all had elevated markers, did scans and everything was fine!

  • many
    many Member Posts: 57
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    my MO & RO are not concerned and they don't believe in Markers .i did sonography of abdomen ,mammography sand chest x ray and everything was clear and both said that they don't worry with current results

  • many
    many Member Posts: 57
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    the marker is just 2 points above normal and they believe it's false positive as the ESR was 20 at the same time

  • Kindergarten
    Kindergarten Member Posts: 2,883
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    oh, Good!! Many!! Keep us posted on how you are doing!! 

  • linnyhopp
    linnyhopp Member Posts: 466
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    Many ~ so happy for you that the doctors feel that you are fine.  Having gone through the tumor markers being elevated about a month ago, I can certainly understand how relieved you must be.  The women who post here were a Godsend to me during the process.  They did a great job of "talking me off the ledge."

    Hope everyone is doing great and living every day to the fullest.  Somehow this disease has made me appreciate the here and now!  Hugs to all!!!

  • GrandmaRobi
    GrandmaRobi Member Posts: 11
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    Hi Everyone!

    I am so happy for all the good results for everyone. My prayer is someday we won't have any worry and can live our lives without fear!!! I hate that we all have to go through all of the uncertainty with each blood test and scan!! Stay positive everyone!!

    GrandmaRobi

  • linnyhopp
    linnyhopp Member Posts: 466
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    Amen to finding a cure that will keep us healthy!  Thanks for the good wishes...hope you are doing well and feeling great!


     

  • SweetCaroline2
    SweetCaroline2 Member Posts: 28
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    I am new to this thread. I returned from a trip to visit grandkids to a message from my onc that my TM was elevated (40) and he wanted me to come in for a retest. I switched from arimidex to tamoxifen in May, when my TM was 29. It doesn't sound like much of an elevation to me, but when I was first diagnosed (with a 6.5 cm tumor) my TM was only 34.  I must wait up to a week for test results- I have a rampant case of  waiting-for-test-results anxiety. I keep reminding myself that TM test results can be affected by factors other than bc recurrence. 

  • Kindergarten
    Kindergarten Member Posts: 2,883
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    Dear SweetCaroliine! I know the anxiety you are feeling!! My tumor markers have jumped all over the place for the last 3 years, the highest being 67!! I have had the bone and pet scans and everything was fine! None of my other oncs did this test, just my current onc!! She even admits they are unreliable!! Hang in there, And please let us know how you are doing!! Switching aromatose inhibitors might raise your levels, too! You are in my thoughts and prayers!!

  • linnyhopp
    linnyhopp Member Posts: 466
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    Sweet Caroline ~ There is nothing worse than waiting for results.  Having just gone through the "torture" of it all, I know exactly how you are feeling.  Like Kathy said, there can be a lot of reasons for a rise in the tumor markers and although my marker was 41, which is 3 points over normal, they had risen since the last blood tests. But, I never knew that the markers were even being watched because my MO said the test is very non-specific and he told me that several times and said he didn't like to scare patients with variances.  It was not really something I wanted to hear  while I was waiting for the PET scan results.  I found that term as frustrating as hell especially since I was so scared to begin with when I heard they were out of the normal range. I can't even explain the relief and gratefulness I have felt since having a negative scan.  The word "negative" is a glorious term when talking about cancer, isn't it?   I am only writing this so that you will know we all feel the same way when faced with an issue.  I am going to keep only positive thoughts for you and you will be in my prayers.  This BC journey is a giant roller coaster ride for sure!  Take care and keep us posted.  I know that I had enormous support from the wonderful ladies who helped me keep my sanity, and I know we will all be here for you as well..

    Kindergarten ~ Good to see your post.  I hope all is well with you.  How are those grandkids doing?  Thanks, again, for all of the positive messages you wrote to me.  I truly believe that only a person who has faced the same situation  can really empathize with someone else.  I think if we all "pay it forward" we can really make a difference for those who need our experiences when they are facing something we know about.  I hope you are having an amazing fall.  Now if only we could have some fall temperatures, even if California fall is sort of like summer in other places!

  • SweetCaroline2
    SweetCaroline2 Member Posts: 28
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    Dear Kindergarten, 

    Thanks for your kind response. It is reassuring to learn that someone else has experienced meaningless fluctuations in TM levels. I am so glad to hear that you remain NED. Thank you for your prayers. 

  • SweetCaroline2
    SweetCaroline2 Member Posts: 28
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    Thank you linnyhop, for sharing your experience with elevated TM and for your positive thoughts and prayers. I am trying to keep busy and positive, but the waiting period seems interminable.

  • Kindergarten
    Kindergarten Member Posts: 2,883
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    Hi, Linnyhopp!! So glad that you are continuing to do well! How s your school year going? Your posts are always so,positive and encouraging!!! Where is Escondido in relation to LA? I am new to CA, coming from the Midwest and Pittsburgh!!  Hubby and I are going to see Paul McCartney in San Diego on Sunday night! 

    SweetCaroline!! I am so happy to pray for you! You will continue to be NED as well!!

  • linnyhopp
    linnyhopp Member Posts: 466
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    Hi Kathy ~ Thanks for the kind words.  This school year is one of the busiest I have ever experienced.  All of the other Office Managers in the other schools feel the same way.  I thought maybe it was just me, but even the younger ones looked pretty wiped out at our meeting last week.  But, even with all of the craziness, I wouldn't want to work anywhere else!  Escondido is 30 miles north of San Diego, off of the I-15.  I moved here from Chicago right after we got married.  My brother and parents moved here first, and then my in-laws and my sister-in-law's parents and sister moved here , too.  We are all extended family, and now that our parents have passed away we are the older generation...yikes!   It's weird that the kids have families of their own now.  We love the little ones, they keep us younger!  By the way, we are going to the Paul McCartney concert, too.  I just bought the cheapest tickets tonight because I have been a big Beatles fan since I was in 5th grade.  I even saw them in concert when I was 12...my big claim  to fame!  We probably won't see the stage, but will just love absorbing the atmosphere.  I couldn't buy them earlier because we weren't sure when my husband was going to be scheduled for knee replacement surgery.  As it turns out, he just got scheduled for October 25th.  I just make myself spend what they wanted for "good"  seats.  My niece and her husband have had tickets for awhile so we may go together.  It's going to be a crazy place with all the traffic.  Did you pay for reserved parking?  The closest lots are sold out, so I bought parking at the Convention Center which is fairly close to Petco Park.   I hope you have an amazing time and I plan on enjoying myself, even if I am watching Paul on the Jumbotron!

  • linnyhopp
    linnyhopp Member Posts: 466
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    Sweet Caroline ~ I know the waiting is horrible, but I hope you can do something enjoyable over the weekend to keep the edge off of your anxiety.  Trust me, I know how hard it is, but keeping busy did help me a bit.  I am praying for you and will continue.  Please let us know when you get some news.  I assume you are waiting for PET scan results, right?  I had to wait almost 2 weeks to even have the dang thing and waited from Thursday until Monday for the results.  Let's just think positive thoughts, ok?  Hugs to you...Linda

  • Kindergarten
    Kindergarten Member Posts: 2,883
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    Dear Linda!! You never know, we may run into you!! That would be awesome

  • SweetCaroline2
    SweetCaroline2 Member Posts: 28
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    Finally got results back from my TM test- down to normal, a 36! Thank you all for your support- you all are great! and I hope that the Paul McCartney concert was wonderful.

  • Kindergarten
    Kindergarten Member Posts: 2,883
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    Hooray, sweet Caroline!! So happy for you!!! Paul McCartney was wonderful!  Those darn tumor marker tests are so worrisome! Have a wonderful week!!!

  • MarieK
    MarieK Member Posts: 467
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    Hi All!

    I've read that TM testing is not reliable and causes a lot of panic for us at times.  

    I agree, but I am so glad that my MO does tumour marker testing.  In my case the steady increase over a period of 8 months (2012-2013) indicated that something was going on and sure enough a PET scan showed a single met in my right femur.

    Everyone is different - so are each individual's cancers and treatments.

    My MO looked for a trend in TM numbers rising before he sent me for testing.  If you have high numbers and they stay stable then he says that might be normal for you. 

    It's been over a year since I was last treated (with a switch from Tamoxifen to Anastrazole/Arimidex and 10 rnds of radiation) but I still have TM testing done as part of my MO pre-visit routine.

    Since July of 2013 (after radiation) my numbers are low and continue to decrease each time.  They are actually lower now (7 & 12) than right after I finished chemo!  Which makes me think that the met was there from DX although no one can tell me if that is the case or not.

    I am relieved that I am followed this closely by my MO and I am not inconvenienced or bothered at all with the crowded waiting room at my follow up appts or with having to do bloodwork so regularly.

    I read on this board (this thread or another TM thread) that there are things you can do to help you get more consistent results with your TM testing.  I don't know for a fact if these things work but they do work for me and so I'll share them here in case you are getting inconsistent test results.

    1.  Go to the same lab each time.

    2.  Go at the same time of day (I go to the lab after lunch - mid afternoon).

    3.  Drink a lot of water - be very hydrated before your test.

    4.  I don't do my blood work until any inflammation I might have is under control (I have tennis elbow right now and I did not use that arm at all the day I went for testing).  I've heard that sometimes inflammation in your body can affect the TM test.

    5.  Make sure your veins are in good shape to get a good gush of blood for the test.  I use my hand veins for blood draw (damaged arm veins with chemo) so I make sure to keep that hand warm and active leading up to the lab test.  I wear a glove - sometimes a hand warmer pouch - and I work it with a squishy ball.

    6.  This last one is silly I know but I swear it works for me - be calm, relaxed and smile a lot when you are going for your blood work.  This will help you and the tech to have a successful draw.  I make sure I thank the lab tech especially if she/he has done a good job and the blood flows really well.

    I see my MO tomorrow - yes I will smile, relax and thank him for looking after me so well!

    Smiles and hugs to all of you as well!

    Marie

  • Kindergarten
    Kindergarten Member Posts: 2,883
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    Hi, Marie!! So wonderful to see you here!!!😀😀😀😀 Are you done with active treatment?? If so, I am doing the Happy Dance for you!! You are my inspiration, love your always positive attitude!! Love the tips you gave!! I go for testing in December and I will definitely use each and every one!! My veins in my arms are shot too, they frequently use my hand!!! In fact , you are so right, when they drew blood from hand, my markers were low!! Thanks again, Hon!! Please always let us know how you are doing!!!! God Bless You!!!

  • MarieK
    MarieK Member Posts: 467
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    Hi Kathy!

    I'm done "active" treatment  - no chemo or rads right now - but I am continuing to take Arimidex.

    I saw my MO today and he is very pleased with my blood test results.  He told me in my case - just one small met - radiation did the trick in killing it off.  He said that the Arimidex would continue to starve any cancer cells in my body.

    I asked him about mammography for my remaining breast and he said in my case it's not warranted.  There are no indications and typically he doesn't go looking for a new primary.

    He would prefer to send me for other scans - which could give him more info - so he wants me to have another PET scan in January and see him again at the end of January.

    I'm not sure how long the 3 month follow ups will continue but I'm 

    I also asked him about taking additional drugs to combat the effects of the Arimidex on my bones.  He told me that at this time my bone density is very good and that if I continue to exercise, take calcium and vitamin D I should have little to no noticeable bone loss.  He will send me for further bone density scans every 2 years to monitor my bone health.

    All in all it was a good follow up visit and I'm in a good place mentally and emotionally.

    Wishing you all a peaceful weekend and Happy Halloween!

    Marie

  • Kindergarten
    Kindergarten Member Posts: 2,883
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    Hi, Marie! You are in a wonderful,place! So happy for you! You are such a wonderful role model for so many!  Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Hobbit
    Hobbit Member Posts: 2
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    Anyone noticed a link between tumor markers (CA 15-3) and weight gain?

    Mine have increased 30% over 6 months, completing 50% increase last year, still well within the low-normal range, but I'm concerned about the trend. I also gained over 10 pounds last year. Can those two be related?

    I searched for studies but found nothing for CA 15-3 and BMI or weight gain (saw some connection for other markers but not for CA 15-3 or CA 27.29).

  • Hobbit
    Hobbit Member Posts: 2
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    I see there is an inverse relationship between BMI and some other TMs in men (here and also here).

  • Kindergarten
    Kindergarten Member Posts: 2,883
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    hi, Hobbit! Wow, interesting!! My tumor markers have been all over the place, and I gain and lose weight frequently! I see my onc again in December!! Thanks for your input!

  • linnyhopp
    linnyhopp Member Posts: 466
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    Just wanted to say hello to everyone. My husband had knee replacement surgery in October and I have been busy taking care of him and driving him to all of the physical therapy appointments. He is doing very well, so hopefully, he will be able to drive in the next couple of weeks. I am so happy when I read positive news here, even if it has been awhile since I have checked this thread out. You are all my role models in dealing with this TM stuff and I so appreciate you all.

    I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving and I know that I am grateful for every day. I guess that is one positive side effect of BC...one I really could have done without...lol! Take care...hugs to all!

  • Kindergarten
    Kindergarten Member Posts: 2,883
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    hi, Linnyhopp!! So good to see you, and hope your dear hubby's recovery and healing continues to go well! Hope everyone here is doing well!! Great d Bless you al

  • linnyhopp
    linnyhopp Member Posts: 466
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    Hi Kinder....Thanks for the good wishes for my husband. He is doing well, but not driving yet...sometimes he doesn't like my driving but when he makes a comment I just tell him that now he knows how I feel...lol! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. It was 89 degrees here on Thanksgiving Day which set a record. That's way too hot for me at this time of year, but I have to admit it was fund to have everyone eating at tables outside and in the shade. Now for many of us, it's on to Christmas!

    I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying every minute. I am grateful for every day and I think I am reminded of that every day, especially during the holiday season. Take care and know that I send all of you a hug from me!

  • Kindergarten
    Kindergarten Member Posts: 2,883
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    Hi, Linnyhopp!! Thank you for your hug!!! Right back at you!! Just had my tumor marker levels tested today, and my Onc is so wonderful, she had my results by the end of the day! She knows how I worry! My CEA was normal. My. CA. 27-29 was slightly elevated again!! But my Onc is not worried and said recheck again in 6 months!! I had the stomach flu earlier this week and I am on two new medications!!