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  • Beta HCG Levels

    Hello! I was wondering if any one has experience what I'm going through. I was originally diagnosed in 2015, had the testicle removed and had 2 rounds of BEP. Fast forward to 2019 and at my regular checks, we saw my Beta HCG level was rising again. (Side note: I was born with only one testicle). My doctor ordered all kinds of scans and tests but did not find any tumors, lymph node issues, etc. After three tests, my level was consistently rising. My doctor diagnosed me with a chemical reoccurrence. In July of 2019 I went into the hospital for some inpatient chemo consisting of Cisplatin, Ifosfamide, and Paclitaxel. After 10 days of pure torture, I went home to recuperate. Since August of 2019, my beta HCG level would go up and down at each blood test. One time it would be a 2, the next a 4, and then back to a 2. In September of 2020, my doctor told me that she had no idea of what was causing this. She said come back in six months and we'll check it again. At the beginning of this week, I had an annual physical with my primary care doctor. He ran a bunch of bloodwork and included the Beta HCG. It's now at a 5. I am waiting to hear back from the oncologist. I'm hoping that someone on the forum has either experienced this or can point me to some info that might help me. This is seriously driving me crazy. Thanks!

  • #2
    How high did it get in July 2019?

    Here's what the testicular Cancer Resource Center says about hcg:
    Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), beta subunit - In adults, significant elevation of levels of beta HCG occurs only during pregnancy and in patients with trophoblastic neoplasms or nonseminomatous germ cell tumors. As a result, it is used as a tumor marker. Essentially, 100 per cent of patients with trophoblastic tumors and 40-60 per cent of patients with nonseminomatous germ cell tumors, including all patients with choriocarcinoma, 80% of patients with embryonal carcinoma, and 10-25% of patients with pure seminoma are diagnosed with elevated levels of beta HCG. The serum half life of beta hCG is 24 to 36 hours, which implies that elevated concentrations should return to normal within 5 to 7.5 days after surgery if all tumor is removed. Please note that the normal HCG level is usually less than 5 miu/ml. Also note that the HCG level can become elevated (falsely positive) due to abnormally low levels of testosterone or because of marijuana use.
    So currently yoiu are within the normal range. I assume you are on TRT? How often are you getting your T level tested? Note that low T can raise hcg as can marijuana use.
    Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
    Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP

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    • #3
      Have they checked your testosterone, FSH and LH? Have they discussed doing a testosterone challenge to see if the beta-hCG drops? I would ask my doctors to reach out to Dr. Larry Einhorn at IU to get his opinion before I underwent any further treatments if my beta-hCG was only at 5. Our friends at the TCRC have the contact information at: http://thetcrc.org/experts.html

      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

      For some reason I do not get notices of private messages on here so please feel free to email me directly at mike@tc-cancer.com if you would like to chat privately so as to avoid any delays.

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      • #4
        I'm sorry for the late response, I just saw the replies. I had lab work done yesterday and am waiting results, including Testosterone. In July of 2019, my beta HCG was at 5 and trending up prior to the chemo. My doctor has mentioned contacting IU in the past. I will mention this information to her.

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        • #5
          I'm sorry for the late response, I just saw the replies. I had lab work done yesterday and am waiting results, including Testosterone. In July of 2019, my beta HCG was at 5 and trending up prior to the chemo. My doctor has mentioned contacting IU in the past. I will mention this information to her. Thanks!

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          • #6
            I suspect that IU wouldn't have told you to pull the trigger on additional chemo with such a low number. That said, contact Doc E & get his opinion, some guys just seem to run at the high end of normal.
            Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
            Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP

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            • #7
              Hcg 5 doesn't seem like something that should be concerned with, especially if you've had it within this range in the past too (as opposed to being undetectable, and suddenly rising to 5). I don't think this should prompt any treatment. I know hcg running up and down can cause you some anxiety and that's why you're worried, but it's still well within the normal range.
              Maybe wait a week or two and measure your hcg again. I hope it shows a number within the normal range again and put your mind to rest.
              Pure choriocarcinoma stage 3c - testis primary, mets to lungs, 4 lymph nodes >2 cm
              Left I/O 08/18
              BEPx4 10/18
              round 1 hcg - 225 000, down to 642 then rising
              round 2 hcg - 830, down to 40 then rising
              round 3 hcg - 72, down to 15 then rising
              round 4 hcg - 542, down to 7
              HDC regimen SWENOTECA IV 03/19
              round 1 hcg ~1500, down to 1.14 then rising
              round 2 hcg ~100, down to <0.1
              All clear 06/19. Remission.

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