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  • AFP on the increase

    Hi everyone,
    My husband is 1 year post treatment. Hes just had annual bloods and whilst the AFP is still within normal limits it has been slowly rising all year. Did this happen to anyone else? Hes got his checkup with the Oncologist on Weds but is really quite concerned.
    Any thoughts?
    Thanks so much and Happy New Year everyone x

  • #2
    Wow...I've got the same thing going on. It's Gone from 3.x To 7 in the last year.

    I had my bloods taken this past Friday and I have my 2.5 year checkup on Wednesday also. It's one of two big questions I have for my onco.

    I know that my onco changed labs in the past year and my numbers went up with that as the units of measure changed and so did the normal range.

    Keep us posted and so will I as we both find out on the same day.

    - Matt
    March 4th 2014: [AFP = 2.5; bHCG = 6; LDH = 618]
    March 13th: Left IO 100% Classic Seminoma
    6.3 x 5.1 x 3.8 cm, no invasion of anything
    LDH never fully normalized
    Stage: IS
    Watchful Waiting
    May 1st: promoted to Stage IIB with two PET active tumors in the para-aortic lymph nodes 2.5 & 2.4 cm
    May 12th: started 3xBEP
    Neupogen during Cycle 2 and 3
    July 8th: Last Bleo shot of Cycle 3 -- chemo completed !
    August 4th: Post Chemo CT/PET scan
    September 4th: Port removed
    January 11th 2017: 2 & 1/2 YEARS ALL CLEAR !

    Comment


    • #3
      How interesting - no lab change for us though. Best wishes x

      Comment


      • #4
        Hmm. Can you post the #'s, units, and timelines?
        6/5/15: bHCG 27,AFP 8.66, LDH 361, 5.6cm lymph node - Stage IIC
        6/16/15: Left I/O 85% EC, 10% chorio, 5% yolk sac opinion 2 (mayo) 90% EC, 10% yolk sac
        7/7/15: bHCG 56, AFP 42, LDH 322
        7/13/15 - 9/18/15: 4xEP
        10/1/15: bloodwork normal, ct scan shows 2 lymph nodes 1.0cm
        10/26/15: 2nd opinion on CT results - lymph nodes normal. Surveillance!
        4/6/16: 1.7cm X 1.5cm lymph node found with markers normal.
        4/20/16: RPLND @ IU - teratoma only!
        5/10/17 all clears up to this date!

        Comment


        • #5
          Biwi,

          Here’s the last 18 months. I do not yet have my results from my last test a few days ago.

          The first set of labs had a normal range <= 5
          The New sets of labs has a normal range <= 10

          Jan 2015: 2.6 IU/ml
          April 2015: 2.5 IU/ml
          July 2015: 2.7 IU/ml
          October 2015: 3.2 IU/ml

          New Lab tests…..although I am not 100% sure that this is exactly where they may the lab changes at and I know that there was another change made in the middle of 2016; however the units stayed the same with that change.

          Jan 2016: 3.5 ng/ml
          April 2016: 5.7 ng/ml
          July 2016: 7.0 ng/ml

          I know that the conversion factors for AFP from IU/ml to ng/ml is not simple and I’ve seen a few different ratios. One ratio I saw was something like ng/ml = 1.31 IU/ml…so given the doubling of the normal range and a conversion factor like that I suppose my numbers are no big deal.

          I also know that Dr. Einhorn typically does not worry about AFP till it goes over 25 ng/ml.

          Obviously my trend is up….but I suppose that it’s rather slow…....ie I suppose that I would expect faster rising numbers with active cancer.

          - Matt
          Last edited by JeskiM69; 01-09-17, 09:14 PM.
          March 4th 2014: [AFP = 2.5; bHCG = 6; LDH = 618]
          March 13th: Left IO 100% Classic Seminoma
          6.3 x 5.1 x 3.8 cm, no invasion of anything
          LDH never fully normalized
          Stage: IS
          Watchful Waiting
          May 1st: promoted to Stage IIB with two PET active tumors in the para-aortic lymph nodes 2.5 & 2.4 cm
          May 12th: started 3xBEP
          Neupogen during Cycle 2 and 3
          July 8th: Last Bleo shot of Cycle 3 -- chemo completed !
          August 4th: Post Chemo CT/PET scan
          September 4th: Port removed
          January 11th 2017: 2 & 1/2 YEARS ALL CLEAR !

          Comment


          • #6
            End of treatment Jan 16 - 3.9ng/ml
            Feb 2016 - 1.9 ng/ml
            July 2016 - 2.6 ng/ml
            Dec 2016 - 3 ng/ml

            I know its really tiny numbers and its all well within range but its concerning that its an upward trend. I searched and cant really find any info as to why that would happen. Fingers crossed its easily explained.

            Comment


            • #7
              Bones,

              I wouldn't bat an eye at your husband's numbers. Well within normal; and 1.1 points is probably well within normal fluctuations. Maybe he had a beer a day or so before the test ? Even somehting like that could cause it to be noticed.

              I am not too concerned about mine either. I mentioned my trend to Dr. E. in July when I was in Indiana and he quickly dismissed it as "not a concern". However, it still does nag me from time to time...especially when I have these checkups.

              - Matt
              March 4th 2014: [AFP = 2.5; bHCG = 6; LDH = 618]
              March 13th: Left IO 100% Classic Seminoma
              6.3 x 5.1 x 3.8 cm, no invasion of anything
              LDH never fully normalized
              Stage: IS
              Watchful Waiting
              May 1st: promoted to Stage IIB with two PET active tumors in the para-aortic lymph nodes 2.5 & 2.4 cm
              May 12th: started 3xBEP
              Neupogen during Cycle 2 and 3
              July 8th: Last Bleo shot of Cycle 3 -- chemo completed !
              August 4th: Post Chemo CT/PET scan
              September 4th: Port removed
              January 11th 2017: 2 & 1/2 YEARS ALL CLEAR !

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JeskiM69 View Post
                Bones,

                I wouldn't bat an eye at your husband's numbers. Well within normal; and 1.1 points is probably well within normal fluctuations. Maybe he had a beer a day or so before the test ? Even somehting like that could cause it to be noticed.

                I am not too concerned about mine either. I mentioned my trend to Dr. E. in July when I was in Indiana and he quickly dismissed it as "not a concern". However, it still does nag me from time to time...especially when I have these checkups.

                - Matt
                Im hoping the Onc agrees - these appointments are a pain, brings it all up again! Best wishes to you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bones View Post
                  End of treatment Jan 16 - 3.9ng/ml
                  Feb 2016 - 1.9 ng/ml
                  July 2016 - 2.6 ng/ml
                  Dec 2016 - 3 ng/ml.
                  Three readings is not a trend, especially in a 1.1 range.That is the definition of stable. Don't be surprised if the next test goes down, AFP is like that. My numbers are:
                  4/12 - 8.1ng/dl (8.0 is high end)
                  6/12 - 3.9
                  10/12 - 5.0
                  12/12 - 6.4
                  1/13 - 5.3
                  7/13 - 6.7
                  1/14 - 8.0
                  5/14 - 4.2
                  12/14 - 5.9
                  12/15 - 6.9
                  My doc was never once concerned.

                  Dave
                  Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
                  Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dave,

                    Thanks a bunch for posting some of your numbers. It really gives us a perspective/comparison for us to compare numbers. Very Helpful !

                    I guess it goes to show (yet again) that "normal" will always consist of fluctuations !

                    I suppose as long as it's not going up fast, over 25, and in big chunks, like by the 10s or 100s .... then we likely have nothing to worry about.

                    - Matt
                    March 4th 2014: [AFP = 2.5; bHCG = 6; LDH = 618]
                    March 13th: Left IO 100% Classic Seminoma
                    6.3 x 5.1 x 3.8 cm, no invasion of anything
                    LDH never fully normalized
                    Stage: IS
                    Watchful Waiting
                    May 1st: promoted to Stage IIB with two PET active tumors in the para-aortic lymph nodes 2.5 & 2.4 cm
                    May 12th: started 3xBEP
                    Neupogen during Cycle 2 and 3
                    July 8th: Last Bleo shot of Cycle 3 -- chemo completed !
                    August 4th: Post Chemo CT/PET scan
                    September 4th: Port removed
                    January 11th 2017: 2 & 1/2 YEARS ALL CLEAR !

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Davepet View Post

                      Three readings is not a trend, especially in a 1.1 range.That is the definition of stable. Don't be surprised if the next test goes down, AFP is like that. My numbers are:
                      4/12 - 8.1ng/dl (8.0 is high end)
                      6/12 - 3.9
                      10/12 - 5.0
                      12/12 - 6.4
                      1/13 - 5.3
                      7/13 - 6.7
                      1/14 - 8.0
                      5/14 - 4.2
                      12/14 - 5.9
                      12/15 - 6.9
                      My doc was never once concerned.

                      Dave
                      That is so reassuring Dave thank you! Still new to this game I guess x

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Bones,

                        I am not sure who your husband is seeing but here is a short opinion piece from Dr. Einhorn and Dr. Albany on the AFP levels http://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/JCO.2014.56.0607 the pdf link has changed and it on that page or at: http://ascopubs.org/doi/pdf/10.1200/JCO.2014.56.0607

                        If it was me, I would continue my check ups but not be concerned at all with these AFP results.

                        I just found this conversion site as well. It seem reasonable http://unitslab.com/node/99

                        Mike

                        Oct. 2005 felt lump but waited over 7 months.
                        06.15.06 "You have Cancer"
                        06.26.06 Left I/O
                        06.29.06 Personal Cancer Diagnosis Date: Got my own pathology report from medical records.
                        06.30.06 It's Official - Stage I Seminoma
                        Surveillance...
                        Founded the Testicular Cancer Society
                        6.29.13 Summited Mt. Kilimanjaro for 7th Cancerversary

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Bones,

                          Hope your husbands' checkup went well today !



                          To Everyone else who reads this thread with a similar question,

                          I think that the numbers posted by Bones, Dave, and myself speak for normal fluctuations. For example: my latest test came back at 3.2 ng/ml.

                          Another thing to be aware of are that the labs used by testing facilities can and do change frequently. Mine have changed 4 times in the last 18 months. Each time had different units of measurements and normal ranges. I'd be more inclined (my opinion) to go with what Dr. E. has to say regarding AFP.

                          - Matt
                          March 4th 2014: [AFP = 2.5; bHCG = 6; LDH = 618]
                          March 13th: Left IO 100% Classic Seminoma
                          6.3 x 5.1 x 3.8 cm, no invasion of anything
                          LDH never fully normalized
                          Stage: IS
                          Watchful Waiting
                          May 1st: promoted to Stage IIB with two PET active tumors in the para-aortic lymph nodes 2.5 & 2.4 cm
                          May 12th: started 3xBEP
                          Neupogen during Cycle 2 and 3
                          July 8th: Last Bleo shot of Cycle 3 -- chemo completed !
                          August 4th: Post Chemo CT/PET scan
                          September 4th: Port removed
                          January 11th 2017: 2 & 1/2 YEARS ALL CLEAR !

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JeskiM69 View Post
                            Bones,

                            Hope your husbands' checkup went well today !



                            To Everyone else who reads this thread with a similar question,

                            I think that the numbers posted by Bones, Dave, and myself speak for normal fluctuations. For example: my latest test came back at 3.2 ng/ml.

                            Another thing to be aware of are that the labs used by testing facilities can and do change frequently. Mine have changed 4 times in the last 18 months. Each time had different units of measurements and normal ranges. I'd be more inclined (my opinion) to go with what Dr. E. has to say regarding AFP.

                            - Matt
                            Good article ....
                            He didnt end up going as he had jury service, he did email him though as he was concerned. The doc said fluctuations are normal, not to worry and they will discuss the requirement (or not) for a CT in Feb. He is a year post treatment. Hope yours went well too Matt.
                            I will say though that this little episode was probably a good thing. My husband missed his blood test in October as he got caught up with work, I think this has shaken him up enough that he might do as hes told from now on in!

                            Comment

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