Tumour marker rise - advice needed please!

I’ve just completed my last cycle of 4 x tax,for IDC grade 2 with one positive node. I saw my consultant two weeks ago as I was having some discomfort in my ribs (same side as bc), I had an ultrasound which was fine, and various blood tests done.I have just been told that my tumour marker ca 15-3 is 29.5. My consultant says he isn’t concerned but wants to repeat the test in 2 months time. This is all via email, and I am still wating to speak to him. When originally diagnosed in early June this marker was 16, so has nearly doubled. I am beside myself with worry, surely tumour markers would go down not up on chemo (if it was working)? Looking for some advice please, if anyone has experienced anything similar. Thanks Michelle xx

Not sure if i’ve posted in the correct topic…

Hiya Mickey24 I’ve been told that it isn’t unusual for tumor markers to rise during chemo. Try not to worry about it too much and wait for a test to be done in two months time. Tumor markers react to infection and chemotherapy - and I actually read something on the internet that said it was a good sign that the tumor was reacting!
Big gentle hug for you (((Hug)))

My tumour markers went up during chemo and came back down again when I had finished all cycles. I think that is fairly normal xx

Hi I dont know anything about tumour markers. Why dont they seem to favour them in England and how do you go about getting them to do them for you? Sorry to be of no use xxxxx

Hi Michelle
The normal range for tumour markers is considered to be anyting below 35 so I wouldn’t panic too much. As others have said, it could be a reaction to the chemo - markers can rise when cancer cells are being killed off as the dead cells circulate in the blood. I’ve read that perfectly healthy people can have markers in this range and it can be affected by all sorts of things.

Lesley xx

Hi Michelle
As others have said many things can cause tumour markers to rise, and for that reason many oncs do not use them as do always give an accurate picture.I only have mine done once a year so onc can look at them alongside scans.I would not worry too much.


Thankyou ladies for your comments, I’ll try not to get too stressed! Michelle x

Would just like to point out that there are various forms of tumour markers.I do not get tested for the one mentioned on your post but I do have tumour marker tests done for CEA and Ca125 which are different from the one you have mentioned. My markers for example at their worst were 3000+ but after each lot of chemo these markers halved and eventually went down to 179. But this is a very different marker from your one.
Tumour markers can vary for all sorts of reasons and my Oncologist does not like to rely solely on them but takes into account how I am feeling and results from scans etc. When I personally do find it useful is when I am on my chemo called Capecitabine (not Fec) is that it feels reassuring when I can see my markers coming down throughout the treatment. Hope this doesn’t confuse you even more. Good luck. Val