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  • Question about recurrence and tumor markers.

    Hi everyone,

    I am currently in surveillance and it can be stressful. My question is this: I had elevated markers before surgery and afterwards they dropped as hoped. I got new tests done last week and they all came back negative. My CT is next week, and my nerves are struggling because in my August CT scan I had one 9mm lymph node. My hope is that since I was originally detected via tumor markers that they would naturally be positive again if it came back. Is this true? I really want to be confident heading into my CT scan but sometimes I feel like the negative tumor markers do not mean much.

  • #2
    Hi vcarter ,

    Normally yes, but tumor markers don’t elevate always. Surveillance, coming with lot stresses. But if anything happens, you will always catch it early enough. So it won’t impact your total outcome! Try to be relax.

    BRs

    Amy

    Comment


    • #3
      I had elevated tumor markers prior to surgery too. I asked my doctor that question during my 6-month appointment just last week. He said that since tumor markers were elevated prior to treatment, it is very likely that any recurrence would like result in elevated markers. He didn't quote any statistics, however.
      6/4/18 BHCG 452, AFP 1
      6/13/18 CT Scan, no involvement beyond left testicle
      6/18/18 Radical Left inguinal orchiectomy, Pathology pure seminoma, rete testis obliterated
      6/29/18 BHCG 7, AFP 1.5 (calc 1.8 half-life)
      7/12/18 BHCG<1, AFP 1.5, LDH 220, Diagnosed as Stage 1b, T3N0
      7/25/18 Adjuvant Chemotherapy, 780mg Carboplatin
      8/27/18 Chest CT Scan clear
      9/7/18 BHCG<2, AFP 2.0, LDH 182 (Different lab w/diff ranges than initial tests)
      9/26/18 MRI to review liver cysts for possible metastasis, all clear. No lymphadenopathy
      11/23/18 CT Scan, "No evidence of residual or recurrent disease, no lymphadenopathy or evidence of metastasis"
      11/27/18 BHCG<2, AFP 2.0, LDH 173

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi vcarter

        Im no expert on the turmor markers but my partner had a larger lymphnode and went through 1x round of bep to find out that it is just the way he is. He finished chemo about a year and half ago now so having slightly larger lymphnode doesnt always mean a negative. . something else has popped up now on my partners ct scan so i know how stressfull the waiting is on survelliance. We go back for his test results next week and its really hard to get through the days with all the worrying .. just got to try and take the positives and from your own past experience your tumour markers were high when there was an issue so the fact they are all good now can only be a positive sign ! Good luck and keep us posted.
        Last edited by Emj; 12-04-18, 09:34 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Emj View Post
          Hi vcarter

          Im no expert on the turmor markers but my partner had a larger lymphnode and went through 1x round of bep to find out that it is just the way he is. He finished chemo about a year and half ago now so having slightly larger lymphnode doesnt always mean a negative. . something else has popped up now on my partners ct scan so i know how stressfull the waiting is on survelliance. We go back for his test results next week and its really hard to get through the days with all the worrying .. just got to try and take the positives and from your own past experience your tumour markers were high when there was an issue so the fact they are all good now can only be a positive sign ! Good luck and keep us posted.

          Thank you. I just wish I could get the wait over with. Every day I feel little pains over my body and get nervous.

          Comment


          • #6
            negative tumor markers are not definitive. It is possible to have TC without elevated tumor markers, even if your markers were originally elevated, unfortunately.
            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!
            9/27/2018 all clears up to this date!

            Comment


            • #7
              We are going through the same thing vcarter. My partner was getting so paranoid about every pain and would constantly feel new 'lumps' that all turned out to be nothing so far. My partner tries keep busy with work and i see a physiologist which really helps.

              Thoughts are with you and keep me posted. When do you see your oncologist for the ct results?

              Comment


              • #8
                Afraid tumor markers are pretty much more useful when positive & less useful when negative. While it is good to see the markers low now, that isn't a guarantee, that is why the scans are also needed.Try to have confidence that your treatment was successful. The odds are good that it has been.

                One suggestion: request that your appointment for the bloods & the scans are closer together, maybe even get the scan first, so you don't have so much time in between to get yourself worked up.

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Davepet View Post
                  Afraid tumor markers are pretty much more useful when positive & less useful when negative. While it is good to see the markers low now, that isn't a guarantee, that is why the scans are also needed.Try to have confidence that your treatment was successful. The odds are good that it has been.

                  One suggestion: request that your appointment for the bloods & the scans are closer together, maybe even get the scan first, so you don't have so much time in between to get yourself worked up.

                  Dave

                  Thank you for the advice.

                  Update for everyone interested: My CTs were clear although the doctor told me that the radiologist was "unusually verbose" in pointing out lymph nodes in my chest. He told me not to worry because they are stable, but I would have preferred having no comments rather than something unusually verbose.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thats great news Vcarter. We go back for my partners results this thursday . If they were concerned they would do something about it. They said my thats just the way my partners lymph nodes are. Thats just the way he is so thats good news all is clear !

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