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Cancer Marker CA 27-29 - what is worrisome?

Colette64 Member Posts: 15
edited April 2018 in Waiting for Test Results

Hi all,

I just got my blood results for bio markers for the first time. I am 3 weeks after surgery (BMX + DIEP-FLAP). Supposed to start treatment, hormonal and probably chemo within a couple of weeks.

Of course, I read the results without my doctor present, and my mind is running wild.

What worries me is the result for CA 27-29 that is out of range, 48, and the normal range is < 38.

Is 48 high? Or just slightly higher than the normal?

Does it mean I still have cancer in my body?

The CEA marker came back 0.6, which is low and normal.

Does anyone have some expertise about these numbers?

A million thanks


  • gonegirl
    gonegirl Member Posts: 1,022

    No. Markers pop up and down all the time. If it continues going up, then your oncologist needs to check further. Ain't reason to worry until it's worth worrying about. :-)

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,236

    colette - anything that causes inflammation in the body, such as your recent surgery, can cause the CA 27/29 to be elevated.  Mine was higher after chemo than it was before, but came back into a more normal range after re-testing a few weeks later.  Many oncs don't use tumor markers because of their sensitivity to inflammation, and many use them for trending information, but not to draw conclusions from a single elevated test.

  • GrammyR
    GrammyR Member Posts: 297

    My Onc sez to not put too much concern in to these markers because they are not a true mark of disease and they run them right after surgery and pre chemo to wait and see if the chemo is being effective in which case the markers will come down some. Yes- I think we do still have ca cells in our body after surgery. Remember many of them are micro in size. That is what the chemo is there to stop them multiplying even more.

    In my case I have return of ca to the collar bone area after 6 1/2 years after surgery and chemo. My markers right now were normal before treatment so go figure.

  • Colette64
    Colette64 Member Posts: 15

    Thanks for the answers. I saw a different onc yesterday that also confirmed what everyone was saying, that after surgery, the inflammation of the breast will cause an elevated CA 27-29. It s frustrating to realize there is not one good test for cancer.

    But thanks, my worries disappeared.

  • jamcoman1179
    jamcoman1179 Member Posts: 5

    hey special k, i see that u r in tampa as well. my mom has stage 4 metastatic her2+ and her 2nue+ Please PM if you would like to discuss what is going on and exchange info. i have changed her diet, and have her on a regimen of holistic things to include grape seed extract. her ca27.29 marker is up to over 800 and i'm concerned. we start juicing next week. (chemo). would love to talk. ty, Michael

    Edited by Mods to remove phone number and personal identification It is against our guidelines to share personal contact info on our public boards. If you would like to share personal contact info please only do so by using the Private Message function