Tumor Marker changes
Hello! I am 33 and now a little over 3 years past my mastectomy to treat stage 1 IDC breast cancer. My tumor was about 1.9 cm with a 1 mm branching off, no node involvement. My oncologist has been taking my CA 15-3 tumor markers at each blood test. I have gone for follow up visits every 3 months and we do a blood test including CBC and a CA 15-3. Each visit for me the level has been around 15-18, but at this recent visit at the beginning of February the CA 15-3 amount went up to 40. On this visit it had been 4 months since my last one.
Has anyone had any experience with tumor markers fluctuating? Does your doctor do these tests? I know that changes in markers don't necessarily mean breast cancer metastasis, from what I've read it looks like it can be due to other benign conditions, or even other malignant conditions. I'm just concerned because of the sharp rise in the markers since the last visit. They are going to test me again in 6 weeks, which is going to feel like a long time. I just wanted to get feedback on your experiences with this tumor marker if you get regular blood tests. Has anyone had their markers go up and then back down? I have been having these little pain shocks from my lower ribs up into my shoulder lately on the mastectomy side so that makes me worry even more. I think I need to see a counselor for anxiety, at least. Any input you all have would be great!