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|Forum||Questions||Ask a Question|
|Survivorship Care Issues
Questions surrounding survivorship and life after cancer.
|Asked||Publicly Submitted Question|
|3/23/2012||I was diagnosed with ILC 9 years ago. My tumor marker Ca 15-3 went up to 387 recently, but all scans (MRI, CT & Bone scan) came back NED. Since starting on Zoladex & letrozole the markers have come down to 135.|
I understand that tumor markers can be unreliable, but it seems in my case that something was going on & the new treatment is dealing to it.
In your view does it indicate the rise was indeed the cancer? Or can Ca 15-3 increase into the hundreds for a benign reason?
|Replied||JHU's Breast Center Reply|
|3/24/2012||Thank you for turning to the Johns Hopkins Breast Center. Those tumor markers are pesky. In your case, difficult to say-do you actually have a metasasis of breast cancer?, and if so where (scans negative), and has the medication you mentioned helped (with what)? We do not follow our early stage breast cancer survivors with tumor markers and scans. Pt's tend to focus strictly on the test and results...waiting for results can be extremely anxious, and as time for next screening scan or blood work, the rollor coaster ride begins again, worrying what will it show?? Here, we depend on the response to the question "How are you feeling?", or when/if a patient presents with a complaint of new onset pain, or other symptoms. Then we investigate and evaluate. Tumor markers cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. Some people ask, 'well isn't it better to find a progression or spread of cancer early?', but actually does not impact the overall survival. You could seek a formal consultation with a breast medical oncologist @ an academic medical center, for additional info. Hope this helps, and best wishes!|
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