Hi Nanofthree and MarionP
i have mine done every three weeks or so...looking back on mine can see that they were worse when
I was under extreme stress!
my onc uses them...but in conjnction with mri and cts to get the whole picture......am currently doing very well on all fronts and they are quite low...hope that helps
OK, here's my experience for what it's worth! As you probably know, there are many types of bc - also TMs aren't routinely used for primary bc as far as I know.
I was dx with bone mets 2006 (a few weeks after primary dx, double whammy) and liver mets in 2009. My TMs are done regularly with blood tests and are looked at by the oncs alongside scan results and symptoms. My TMs have been a good indicator of what is happening. I read somewhere (sorry I don't have a link) that for those of us with bone mets, TMs can be helpful. As someone has already mentioned, CA15.3 levels can be greater than zero even in people who don't have cancer- the "normal" range is below 35. Mine have gone up and down (at one time I kept a graph) max about 900 when Taxol didn't work for me, then I went straight on to capecitabine and after 2 years my TMs had stabilised at about 70. Since then there has been an upward trend, I don't ask the oncs 😞 if they go above 1000 I don't think I would want to know.!
I hadn't heard about TMs until I read it on here. I questioned my oncologist about them. She doesn't use them as she thinks scans are more reliable. It does seem a bit confusing as to who is right and who is wrong and are you missing out on something importantant
Hi, in letters from onc to GP it states on one letter CA-153 is 7 and on another CA-153 is 6 and CEA 4. I don't know if there are differences in reporting and they mean 70 and 60, but that's what the letter says so they don't use them for me.
thank you ladies for your replies. it does seem that tumour markers can be inconsistent and i can see from the replies that they work for some and not others. they did give me a list of them dating back to june 2014 and you can see the dips when a treatment was working and raised when it had stopped working. I think they are useful for a guideline. Here's to many more dips for everyone!
belinda - thank you that its an interesting website.
Tinkerbelle - 7 - is really low. Has it ever moved from that?
I'm hoping to get down to 33 (or lower) for CA15-3. I was at 95 in October, now down to 67 and planning to stay on Capecitabine for as long as it works bringing those pesky markers down.
When I was despondent with my markers going up last year to 95 after I was off Cape, my Oncologist shrugged and didn't consider that figure to be very high!
Hi, my hospital doesn't use tumour markers for me as they are not a reliable indication, but they do look at them for all patients.
My CA-153 has never gone above 7 despite twice having progression in my lungs.
Hi, apparently my hospital doesnt use TM's..found this out from my Psychologist as didnt have the guts to ask the onc. She said to ask him if he thought it might be useful for me to know but not sure whether i'm better in blissful ignorance??!!