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  • AFP on the rise

    I've had success with high dose chemo, but now my AFP is on the rise. HCG is usually the tumor marker indicative of cancer for me, but my AFP has risen before, just not without HCG also rising. My AFP is now at like 6.6, which is the high end of normal, while my HCG is less than 0.5. Last time I got a blood test my AFP was at 3-ish. even though none of my doctors seem particularly worried, I cant help but be a little agitated. I'm running out of treatment options, so a relapse would really, really suck. Does anyone know if this is normal, and im just unnecessarily concerned, or if there is reason to be worried. Also, is there anything I could be doing that would effect my AFP level?
    Kick testicular cancer in the balls
    9/2010 Pure Embryonal Carcinoma
    10/2010 right orchiectomy
    6/2011 HCG up to 300 6/27/2011 3XBEP
    7/2011 HCG up to 1500
    8/2011 HCG down to 6
    8/25/2011 mass in abdomen
    9/23/2011 RPLND
    11/2011 HCG up to 37 masses in lungs and lymphnodes 11/2011 1X TIP
    12/2011 HCG up to 400
    12/2011-1/2012 2x HDC carbo/etopiside with Dr. Einhorn 3/2012-5/29/2012 50mg oral etopiside
    1/2012-present HCG >0.5

  • #2
    Hi zbot,

    I see you are really young.....19....is that right? You have been through SO much already. I must commend you on your maturity in dealing with this and coming to this forum to ask such articulate questions as well as seeking sound advice.

    Very recently, someone else posted here about the same concerns you have regarding a waivering AFP level very similar to yours. I believe the general consensus was that such a insignificant rise was nothing to fret about, especially since you are still pretty much in the normal range by all standards. Even Dr. Einhorn does not feel it concerning until the AFP rises over 25. The time to be concerned were if your level were to continually creep upward. I don't remember if you mentioned when your next blood test is scheduled, but for peace of mind, maybe you could ask your Doctor to have another one done in a couple of weeks.

    Wishing you the best,
    Diane
    Cook/Maid/Chauffeur/ATM Machine/Personal Asst. to Austin

    12/07/11 I/O AFP: 291 hCG: 151
    12/08/11 CT Scan, Xrays - clear
    12/15/11 Non Seminoma Stage1-B
    EC, Teratoma, Yolk Sac, Intratubular
    4/21/12 Relapse- Start 3XBEP
    6/25/12 Finished BEP
    7/02/12 Markers and CT Scan normal
    10/3/12 3 month post-chemo check-up - All Clear!
    2/28/13 8 month post-chemo check-up - All Clear!
    6/30/13 ONE YEAR- ALL CLEAR!!
    2/14/14 20 month post-chemo check-up - All Clear!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by AustinsMom View Post
      Dr. Einhorn does not feel it concerning until the AFP rises over 25.
      AFP can fluctuate for many reasons. Before worrying, a quick fix is to get another blood test in the next 2 weeks. Lab errors and anomalies do occur more often than one would think. I believe that the value Einhorn uses is less important as opposed to constantly rising AFP. If your next test were to show it rising again it would start to raise some flags and probably precipitate new imaging. That being said, for now I would be looking at a lab error or other anomaly. Stay positive.
      Best,

      Zsolt


      Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another; "What! You too? I thought I was the only one." - C.S Lewis

      “Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” - C.S. Lewis


      Mass found 11/20/08
      Left I/O 11/25/08
      Pathology: Seminoma, Stage 1
      Surveillance: All Clear since

      Comment


      • #4
        hey man,
        first off knock on wood its not relapse and its just normal fluctuation, and I'm sure it is just normal fluctuation . But sleep sound knowing that even if i was relapse, which it probably or hopefully isn't, there are still lots of other treatment options, GAMEC, MEA or targeted therapies and clinical trials are still at your disposal!

        Comment


        • #5
          thanks for the quick responses! I get tested for tumor markers every month, so the AFP test previous to this last one was about a month ago. since i'm on oral etoposide I get basic blood counts tested twice weekly for the 3 weeks im on it, so i'm sure i could fit a tumor maker test anytime. Is a 3-point rise in AFP in a months-span significant? I'm used to my HCG going up by several points each week when I have active tumor, so I'm not familiar how AFP markers behave.
          Kick testicular cancer in the balls
          9/2010 Pure Embryonal Carcinoma
          10/2010 right orchiectomy
          6/2011 HCG up to 300 6/27/2011 3XBEP
          7/2011 HCG up to 1500
          8/2011 HCG down to 6
          8/25/2011 mass in abdomen
          9/23/2011 RPLND
          11/2011 HCG up to 37 masses in lungs and lymphnodes 11/2011 1X TIP
          12/2011 HCG up to 400
          12/2011-1/2012 2x HDC carbo/etopiside with Dr. Einhorn 3/2012-5/29/2012 50mg oral etopiside
          1/2012-present HCG >0.5

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi !

            I can understand your agitation. To be honnest I would be the same.
            But Afp can fluctuate. Have you eaten a lot or something "heavy" ? And last but not least....alcohol ? Or may be just......fluctuation.
            Please tell us quickly !

            All the best for you man

            Comment


            • #7
              A 3 point rise in and of itself is not significant. A continuous trend of rising AFP would be.
              Best,

              Zsolt


              Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another; "What! You too? I thought I was the only one." - C.S Lewis

              “Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” - C.S. Lewis


              Mass found 11/20/08
              Left I/O 11/25/08
              Pathology: Seminoma, Stage 1
              Surveillance: All Clear since

              Comment

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