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Increase In Tumor Markers but Pet/Scans show stable

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The doctor just called and said that since my markers have increased they want another scan in 3 months instead of 6 months.

She told me that it was just a precaution since the scan has been stable and the markers increased, they just wanted to triple-check that the meds are working.

Diagnosis in 11/22, two recent scans April and September 2023 look good, now markers increase.

how worried should I be??

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  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 5,035
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    Not worried (ok, maybe a teensy tiny bit because we do have bc) at all! My mo, and the whole oncology group, do not take tumor markers. If I have pain for more than 2 weeks, she orders a PET scan. So what I’m trying to say is that the scan results supersede the tumor markers. Tumor markers can be inaccurate for many people and are not used by all mo’s for that reason . Since your scans look good and you’ll be following up with another scan in 3 months, I think you should try not to worry. Yes, easier said than done but your clean scan is a good thing!

  • justme1964
    justme1964 Member Posts: 12
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    that makes me feel better, because she did say the pet scans are stable…. I guess this is going to be my life for the foreseeable future…. I am meeting with the doc next week for my monthly injections and blood work. We talked over the phone, in person where we can spend a little more time talking will be a huge help.. She was listening to me and talking but we needed to schedule the pet scan because it was fulling up quickly.

  • olma61
    olma61 Member Posts: 1,027
    edited October 2023
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    My CA15-3 has been slightly elevated (about 35 when the upper normal is 30) ever since I had radiation to the bone in 2019 but my scans are all NEAD (no evidence of active disease) every time.

    I do not know if a raised CA15-3 could be related to radiation, or something else, but I am not worried about it. I have had doctors express a little concern when my CA 27.29 went into the 40s but it went right back down on the next test and nothing ever showed up on my scans, so I do not worry about it.

    Ironically, my tumor markers were all in a normal range when I first was diagnosed and I already had metastasis at the time so I take these results with a grain of salt. (CEA and CA 15-3 were the ones taken by my doc at that time)

    I think if a result goes into the 100s, that is definitely cause for me to be concerned. If doctors want to scan for slightly elevated results, I guess they are just being super cautious but if results are just slightly elevated I am not worrying about it.

  • justme1964
    justme1964 Member Posts: 12
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    Cancer Antigen 15-3 (CA 1Cancer Antigen 15-3 (CA 15-3)5-3) went from 93 to 110 and Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) went from 32.3 to 37.8, again as this was increasing my pet scan showed steady.