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Topic: Elevated CA 15-3

Forum: Not Diagnosed With a Recurrence or Metastases but Concerned —

Meet others concerned about developing a recurrence or metastases.

Posted on: Sep 30, 2010 02:06AM - edited Aug 20, 2013 05:50AM by Cydz

Cydz wrote:

I am so sick of worrying about every little thing! Has anyone experienced this or have any knowledge of this? Had my blood work done and my CA 15-3 came back at 35, last time it was 27. I am told 25 is normal. All my other numbers were in the normal range. My onc wanted me to get a PET scan, but then her nurse said to me the number could be higher from inflammation. I said oh, like surgery?? I had my exchange surgery on Sept. 1. So the blood was drawn 3 weeks after surgery. Then I was told they can't scan so close to surgery as you would get a false reading. So I need to redo the bloodwork in 4 weeks. My question is has anyone heard of anything like this in regards to numbers being skewed from surgery, inflammation etc.? I am a worrier by nature so of course I now have 4 weeks to fret about this!!

BRCA1+ Recon with TE 5/28/10 Exchange surgery completed 9/1/10 dx with stage 1 melanoma 6/09 Prophylactic oophorectomy 12/10 Dx 4/13/2009, IDC, 3cm, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 30, 2010 03:39AM debbie6122 wrote:

cydz- My tumor marker test also came back high after my mx it was 37 he told me it was not uncommon for it to change one way or the other also said that he felt better knowing it was below 38- I have also so heard they are not always accurate- I hear the concern in your posts, and know you are worried, but im glad your onc is keeping an eye out for you, sounds like you are in good hands, hopefully your scores will come down after you heal- sending prayers and good wishes your way Hope your healing and feeling better

Hugs,

Debbie

masectomy, chemo, node positive Dx 12/20/2009, IDC, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 30, 2010 09:55AM - edited Aug 20, 2013 05:50AM by Cydz

It is still unnerving however. How were your numbers the next time you had them checked? I wonder why 38 was significant to your onc? I said to my onc, well it's only up a bit, and she was like well we don't want to see it go up at all. Funny how they differ. I like what yours said better than mine!! Thanks for your words of encouragement and your good wishes!!

BRCA1+ Recon with TE 5/28/10 Exchange surgery completed 9/1/10 dx with stage 1 melanoma 6/09 Prophylactic oophorectomy 12/10 Dx 4/13/2009, IDC, 3cm, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 30, 2010 06:06PM nancyh wrote:

Hi Cydz,

I'm sure it is unnerving, but try not to worry too much.  Whe tumor markers are elevated for cancer, they are usually off the charts (like in the 100's or 1,000s).  If you dig around on the boards you'll see that lots of oncologists don't even use tumor markers because they are so unreliable.  From what I understand, all sorts of non-cancer-things can cause slightly elevated results.  Good luck!

Stage 4 in 2009, mets to liver, lungs, bones, and brain. Dx 8/12/2002, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIB, 3/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/1/2002 AC Chemotherapy 1/1/2003 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 5/1/2003 Dx 4/2/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/1/2007 CMF Dx 9/1/2009, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone/liver/lungs, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy 9/1/2009 Avastin (bevacizumab) Chemotherapy 9/1/2009 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2010 Femara (letrozole) Chemotherapy 9/1/2011 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2012 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 6/1/2012 Navelbine (vinorelbine) Chemotherapy 5/1/2013 Gemzar (gemcitabine) Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2013 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 8/1/2013 Afinitor (everolimus) Chemotherapy 10/28/2013 Halaven (eribulin) Chemotherapy 11/12/2014 Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 10/1/2015 Adriamycin (doxorubicin) Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Sep 30, 2010 07:53PM Cydz wrote:

Thanks Nancy! I appreciate your response!!!

BRCA1+ Recon with TE 5/28/10 Exchange surgery completed 9/1/10 dx with stage 1 melanoma 6/09 Prophylactic oophorectomy 12/10 Dx 4/13/2009, IDC, 3cm, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 1, 2010 07:09PM - edited Aug 20, 2013 05:51AM by ruthbru

My doctor says it is a very non-specific test and the numbers will jump around....he would just get worried if there was a LARGE jump from one reading to another. I wouldn't be worried from 27 to 35; next time it might be 20 (and the next time 30 etc.).

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 16, 2010 08:24PM csbees wrote:

I'm a 14 years and 10 months survivor. I remember the first time my number went up a little. I was scared, too. I'd been watching those numbers closely. A long-time friend and oncology nurse explained to me that there are reasons these numbers can fluctuate. Also, my oncologist told me right from the start that this test is used only as a tool in my follow up. She said it doesn't carry weight on its own because there can be other reasons these numbers change. I'm keeping good thoughts for you!

Dx 12/19/1995, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 1/10 nodes, ER+
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Oct 17, 2010 03:20AM Cynthia1962 wrote:

Hi Cydz,

We're in the same boat - 6 months ago my CA 15-3 was 19 and now it's 45. My onc wants me to repeat the test in a month and have a bone scan in the meantime.  I feel great and don't have any weird symptoms or pain.  My mammo looks clear, but with dense breasts I guess something could be hiding in there.  

I almost can't believe I'm here again.  I was just starting to not worry so much about the possibility of recurrence.  I'm finding that I either feel sick to my stomach or refuse to think about it.  It's going to be a long month!

I hope the next two weeks go quickly for you and you get good news.

 

Mets to bones Dx 1/3/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/16/2007 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 3/19/2007 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 9/6/2007 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 11/9/2007 Hormonal Therapy 11/1/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx 11/11/2010, IDC, Stage IV, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/1/2012 Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy 11/14/2012 Navelbine (vinorelbine)
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Oct 28, 2010 08:04PM Ozzi wrote:

I am a 10 year survivor and the CA15-3 has been the bane of my existence.  It definitely fluctuates. .. I had elevated numbers -39 -last year due to a bladder infection (we figured that out after it went back down to 26).  This year the number is 30 and I'm unhappy that it isn't 26 again (even though this is in normal range).  Definitely have an unhealthy obsession with that test.  Over my 10 years I have had many fluctuations. . . .try not to let it get to you.  Fluctuations within and around normal range are normal.  Steady significant increases may or may not be significant. . . .

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the number of moments that take our breath away. Dx 3/17/2000, IDC, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/12 nodes, ER+, HER2-
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Dec 18, 2013 10:26PM GODISGOOD2012 wrote:

After reading the earlier posts, I probably shouldn't ask this question, but I would really like to hear what everyone thinks.  Should I be worried if my CA 15-3 went from 6.5 to 9.2 in a 6 month period of time???  I know it is in the normal range, but I am concerned that it changed at all.

Sandi Dx 2/8/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/12/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy 3/14/2012 Surgery 4/8/2012 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 4/29/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Jan 3, 2014 12:50AM karody wrote:

My onc doesn't do the tumor marker tests at all.  She says they are not reliable and cause more false worry than anything.  Not sure I like that, as I would like more reassurance than just the CBC provides, but that's her professional opinion.


Dx 9/10/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/21/2009 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/21/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 2/22/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 3/15/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 9/10/2010 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 9/20/2010 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy 10/27/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 3/20/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Jan 6, 2014 10:52PM janiceB wrote:

My CA-15-3 was up over 30 and my onc threatened to discontinue testing for it if I was going to worry. So I just cut way back on my sugar intake to reduce systemic inflammation and it came down to 17 on the next 6 month check up results. 

Dx 5/25/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 6/28/2010 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 8/10/2010 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/15/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2013
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Mar 4, 2014 02:58PM evep wrote:


Hi,

Just to let everyone know, I also had rising CA15-3. Up 11 points from normal over a 6 month period i.e 2 blood tests.  I did switch from Tamoxifen to Latrozole and also switched Lab companies at the same time.  I just had a Pet scan and all was normal. Going forward must have 3 month blood test. It was super scary while waiting.  This website was most helpful to me to find others with similar situation.  I hope this helps the next gal..

 

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Mar 7, 2014 10:15AM anneflorida wrote:

My numbers have always run higher than normal - 31 to 38.  Sometimes it will go up a point or so and then down a point.  My doctor says that he will scan me at 50 but it appears I run higher than as my normal.

Dx 12/12/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 9/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 14, 2014 01:07PM MRT wrote:

please can someone help me because I'm going crazy.  My CA 15-3 blood test result 32.5.  Can someone tell me if it's alarming high?  No one seems to know the right ranges.  I had breast cancer 8 years ago, my last mammogram was 5 months ago and that was perfect and I feel absolutely fine.  What do you think?

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Mar 14, 2014 02:32PM encyclias wrote:

I'm not a doctor, but it doesn't sound alarmingly high.  It's supposed to be <30 U/mL  Definitely a question for your doctor.  Tumor markers don't work for everyone, though.

Carol

Dx 10/5/2012, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/16/2012 AC Surgery 4/8/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/10/2013 Breast
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Mar 14, 2014 03:08PM MRT wrote:

Do you know what's the highest these CA 15-3 blood test go up?  Because I was told that they stop at 32.7+, is this true?

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Mar 14, 2014 07:24PM bevin wrote:

From e: medicine: Hope this helps

Cancer antigen 15-3 (CA 15-3) is used to monitor response to breast cancer treatment and disease recurrence.

The reference range of serum CA 15-3 is less than 30 U/mL. The upper limit of the range varies depending on the laboratory and kit used for the test. Values obtained with different assay kits, methods, or laboratories cannot be used interchangeably.

Age 45, Oncotype 11, Primary Tumor 2.1 cm, smaller satellite tumor nearby Dx 8/8/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/10/2010 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/10/2010 Breast
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Mar 15, 2014 01:54AM MRT wrote:

thank you for your reply.  My blood ca 15.3 came 32.5U/ml,  I had breast cancer 8 years ago and have been doing check ups regularly including a mammogram 5 months ago which was fine.  I checked my breasts and no lumps, I even made my doctor check me just to make sure.  I'm having a pet scan in 2 days time but I'm so worried

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Mar 15, 2014 09:17AM bevin wrote:

MRT- good luck with your Pet scan. I'm glad your doctor is checking into things. Hopefully it will be clear. Keep us posted and while you wait try to find things you like to do to keep you occupied.

Age 45, Oncotype 11, Primary Tumor 2.1 cm, smaller satellite tumor nearby Dx 8/8/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/10/2010 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/10/2010 Breast
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Mar 18, 2014 01:34AM MRT wrote:

just to let you all know that my pet scan was clear, I will have to repeat tumour marker 15-3 in 6 months time.  Thank you for listening to me

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Jun 17, 2014 08:48AM robsp wrote:

My blood ca 15.3 came 46.1U/ml 20 days after last chemo.  My MO asked to repeat the exam after 3 weeks

to confirm this number, but I will begin my radiotherapy next week. I am not sure if radiotherapy can alter the result of ca 15.3.

male breast cancer Dx 10/29/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/20/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 1/13/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 4/14/2014 CEF Radiation Therapy 6/23/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/3/2014
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Jun 17, 2014 08:30PM robsp wrote:

I found an article, see below, where CA 15-3 is elevated after Neupogen (G-CSF) usage. I used Neupogen one week before my blood test. The article says that CA 15-3 may stay  elevated for 2 months after Neupogen shots. I hope that is my case. 

G-CSF induces elevation of circulating CA 15-3 in breast carcinoma patients treated in an adjuvant setting

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1097-01...

male breast cancer Dx 10/29/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/20/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 1/13/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 4/14/2014 CEF Radiation Therapy 6/23/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/3/2014
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Jul 12, 2014 04:43PM robsp wrote:

My blood ca 15.3 came 23.6 U/ml today.  I hope that was some effect of Neupogen or other chemo medication. I will talk with my MO next week.

male breast cancer Dx 10/29/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/20/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 1/13/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 4/14/2014 CEF Radiation Therapy 6/23/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/3/2014
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Sep 19, 2015 06:59PM efda337 wrote:

My wife CA 15-3 started to rise since Oct/2014 during her yearly check visit, it went pass 100, 6 weeks ago and now is at 45 after 2 months in Tamoxifen and a green juice and salad for the last month. All test have been negative but the RDW came above normal, so, we are looking in to that now.

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Sep 28, 2015 11:05AM Katfur111 wrote:

Hello, new here, just Dx with BC that Mets and trying to understand labs, my CA 15-3 is 517.90 what does this mean? thank you

Hormonal Therapy 9/18/2015
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Sep 28, 2015 11:08AM Katfur111 wrote:

what does IPF for? mine is 8.30 and fibrinogen(Q) mine is 448 and PLT-F mine is 120.00 thank you

Hormonal Therapy 9/18/2015
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Feb 1, 2016 06:07PM - edited Feb 2, 2016 04:12PM by sailawayaussies

Well I have tried to find a CA 15-3 score that was like mine. I was diagnosed with Primary Breast Cancer in February 2013. Tumor was removed in May 2013. No node involvement. 4 treatments of basic Chemo - TC. That was it. Visited the Onc quarterly then his past June became 6 month visit. She mentioned on my next visit (11/2015 she would run the CA 15-3 to get a base line going. Imagine the Doctor's shock when my results we 2,972. I had no concept what that meant, but it led to a PET scan (my first one). It is in both hips , C2, C6, L1-L5 vertebrae, left clavicle, my skull. Okay so I will go for a second opinion. They had nothing to say except radiation can help with the pain. So I have been undergoing radiation to reduce the tumors. Oh I also had a biopsy of the L5 tumor to confirm it is breast cancer - it is. Today I am having a pity party. Got the results of my second CA 15-3. My number is 4,305 today. :)

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Feb 1, 2016 08:30PM KBeee wrote:

I am so sorry to hear about your bone metastasis. Were you having symptoms? I hope the radiation is shrinking the tumors

Karen. Dx 8/5/2013, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 8/26/2013 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 9/20/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 12/12/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 1/23/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 1/29/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 2/2/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Dx 2/25/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 3, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 2/25/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Prophylactic ovary removal Chemotherapy 3/31/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/25/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Feb 2, 2016 01:05AM Moderators wrote:

Sailaway-

We want to welcome you to our community, although we wish it were under different circumstances. Hopefully you find the support you need here, and we second Kbeee, we hope the radiation is successful in shrinking the tumors!

The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Feb 2, 2016 04:13PM sailawayaussies wrote:

Thank you. I had a pain in my left hip mainly and it was affecting my walking. I also had pain that would come and go from the collar bone and from the neck. Never thought it would be cancer though.

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