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A 47-year-old female asked:

I am a breast cancer survival - do i need to do the tumour markers blood test -ca153, ca19.9, ca12.5, cea, afp?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ly Phan
Dr. Ly Phananswered
General Surgery 23 years experience
Helpful: Tumor marker like 27.29 can be use in conjunction with physical exam and xray/mammogram to detect cancer recurrent.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Richard Orr
Surgical Oncology 45 years experience
No: Although some medical oncologists follow tumor markers, there is no proof that aggressive followup for early stage breast cancer extends survival or improves quality of life.They may be useful if you have metastatic breast ca and are being treated with chemo, as a way of assessing response. Btw AFP is for primary liver cancer, ca 19-9 for GI malignancies, ca-125 ovarian ca - none of these forbreast.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Carlos Encarnacion
Medical Oncology 36 years experience
Generally no: Standards of care in the us do not recommend routine tumor marker testing in cancer survivors (we usually do ca 27.29 for breast cancer). Markers are mostly useful to assess response to therapy in patients with advanced cancer. That said, many oncologists (myself included) will sometimes order routine markers in cancer survivors depending on the circumstances.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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Last updated Mar 17, 2018

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