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Family Support
Questions about breast cancer & family support.
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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
12/29/2010Hello Lillie, wrote to you a year or so ago, my Mom was Dx w Stage 3 invasive Lobular Breast Cancer, she endured 6 months of Chemo, 8 weeks of radiation, and is now on hormone suppression tx. Sept 1 she had the TRAM flap surgery which failed, so they did the back flap after that and all went well. She went and had the other breast lifted a few weeks ago and is healing well. She went to Oncologist yesterday and he told her that her tumor marker numbers are going up. He drew more blood yesterday and said he would have the results in three days and if they were up again that he would want her to come in for some scans....this all seems like possible bad news. Can you shed some light on these tumor markers and how accurate they are in dx reoccurence or mets. Thank you for your time.
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
12/29/2010tumor markers have proven to not be a reliable way to assess whether cancer has returned or progressed. it is why the NCCN discontinued getting tumor markers as standard of care in 1998. instead what has been felt to be more reliable is how the patient is feeling. getting a flue virus vaccine can cause them to elevate for example and who knows what surgery does to such a test. so the only patients who are true candidate for getting this test done are those with stage IV metastatic disease. so don't worry yet. now that he has drawn the blood and done the test he will need to follow through on investigating things however. such as CAT scan. congratulate her for me in getting her reconstruction finally done. too bad first time it didn't work. glad she is restored now though.

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