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Doctor insights on: What Does A Cancer Marker Of 13 Mean

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Dr. Kevin Scher
Board Certified, Hematology and Oncology
9 years in practice
13K people helped
1

1
What are tumor markers, and does having them mean that I have cancer?

Dr. Kevin Scher
Board Certified, Hematology and Oncology
9 years in practice
13K people helped
What are tumor markers, and does having them mean that I have cancer?

Blood tests: Tumor markers are blood tests that are sometimes used to follow progression of cancer once it has already been diagnosed. We rarely, if ever, use tumor makers to make a cancer diagnosis. There are many other reasons why these markers may be elevated including inflammation, infection, etc. ...Read more

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Dr. Rashed Hasan
Board Certified
29 years in practice
624K people helped
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Dr. Rashed Hasan
Board Certified
29 years in practice
624K people helped
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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,071 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that occur in almost any organ or tissue in the body. Symptoms depend on the location of the cancer, and cancer often has the potential to grow and spread to other ...Read more


Dr. Tarik Hadid
Board Certified, Hematology and Oncology
13 years in practice
290K people helped
2

2
If your tumor marker is greater than 0 but less than 40 (around 20-26) does it mean you still have cancer and chemo didn't get it all?

Dr. Tarik Hadid
Board Certified, Hematology and Oncology
13 years in practice
290K people helped
If your tumor marker is greater than 0 but less than 40 (around 20-26) does it mean you still have cancer and chemo didn't get it all?

No..: It depends on what tumor marker you are referring to. In most cancers, tumor markers are never 0 even in healthy individuals that never had cancer. What is more important than the number is the trend in the values. So if within the last 6 months the number are 20, 60, 130, 220, then it is reason to be concerned. Otherwise, it should be followed serially. ...Read more

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Dr. Rashed Hasan
Board Certified
29 years in practice
624K people helped
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Dr. Rashed Hasan
Board Certified
29 years in practice
624K people helped
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Dr. Lauren Stegman
Board Certified, Radiation Oncology
22 years in practice
586K people helped
3

3
What does tumour markers (for testicular cancer)mean? Does the cancer have to be wide spread before it shows in the blood?

Dr. Lauren Stegman
Board Certified, Radiation Oncology
22 years in practice
586K people helped

No: There are three different tumor markers that can be elevated in different types of testicular cancer: beta hcg, afp, and ldh. They can be elevated even when the cancer is only in the testicle and hasn't spread anywhere else in the body. On the other hand, it is also possible to have metastases without elevated markers because some types often don't make any marker at all (eg pure seminoma). ...Read more

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Dr. Kenneth Smith
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
27 years in practice
5M people helped
4

4
Colon cancer stage 3b but after surgery CEA level dropped from 13 to 1.8 what does it mean?

Dr. Kenneth Smith
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
27 years in practice
5M people helped
Colon cancer stage 3b but after surgery CEA level dropped from 13 to 1.8 what does it mean?

Tumor markers: Cea is a tumor marker it does not occur with all colon cancers but the fact that it dropped so abruptly is a positive sign. The marker has the ability to be used to monitor for recurrence. This does by no means indicates you are done. There are a number of treatments for colon cancer and you should recruit the serviceces of a board certified medical oncologist for an opinion on tx options. ...Read more

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Dr. Rashed Hasan
Board Certified
29 years in practice
624K people helped
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Dr. Susan Wingo
Board Certified, Endocrinology
28 years in practice
4M people helped
5

5
Thyroglobulin tumor marker s value is 12. Is this normal? Have had thyroid cancer about 13 years ago

Dr. Susan Wingo
Board Certified, Endocrinology
28 years in practice
4M people helped
Thyroglobulin tumor marker s value is 12. Is this normal? Have had thyroid cancer about 13 years ago

See your doctor.: If you had total thyroidectomy and radioactivie iodine treatment, the thyroglobulin should be undetectable or very low ( ...Read more

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Dr. Devon Webster
Board Certified, Medical Oncology
17 years in practice
3M people helped
6

6
My TSH level was 0.215 on 12/17/13 and was 0.584 on 5/21/13. I've been taking my meds the same. Could this mean my thyroid cancer has returned?

Dr. Devon Webster
Board Certified, Medical Oncology
17 years in practice
3M people helped
My TSH level was 0.215 on 12/17/13 and was 0.584 on 5/21/13. I've been taking my meds the same. Could this mean my thyroid cancer has returned?

No, don't worry!: Tsh is not made by thryoid cancer! it's made by your body to stimulate your thyroid to produce hormones. Tsh can stimulate thyroid cancer cells, too, so the medicine you take is to keep your TSH level as low as possible. The fact that your TSH has risen might be a sign that you need to take a higher dose of your medication. This is something you should ask your doctor about! ...Read more

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Dr. Ed Friedlander
Board Certified, Pathology
39 years in practice
137M people helped
7

7
Can elevated ca15-3 mean something other than breast cancer? Clear mammo but ca15-3 results - 31.6 (ca markers done as part of complete physical)

Dr. Ed Friedlander
Board Certified, Pathology
39 years in practice
137M people helped

Stop worrying: The reference range is set so that 5% of folks believed to be healthy fall above it. Usually the top of the reference range is 30 or so. This alone should make you stop worrying. Further, fairly high values are often observed with no obvious explanation. Why was it run in the first place? Mild elevations usually just generate confusion and upset people and never detect anything. ...Read more

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Dr. Carlos Encarnacion
Board Certified, Medical Oncology
30 years in practice
2M people helped
8

8
My tumour marker with 1mm breast cancer invasion was 9.3. After mastectomy it is still 9.3. Does that mean it wasnt actually cancer?

Dr. Carlos Encarnacion
Board Certified, Medical Oncology
30 years in practice
2M people helped
My tumour marker with 1mm breast cancer invasion was 9.3.  After mastectomy it is still 9.3.  Does that mean it wasnt actually cancer?

No: Breast cancer is diagnosed with a microscope, not a blood test. Your tumor marker being normal before and after surgery tells me nothing at all. People may have cancer and their marker can be normal or have an elevated marker without having cancer. Best of luck to you. ...Read more

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Dr. Soroosh Armandi
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
11 years in practice
255K people helped
9

9
What are "markers" and what does it mean to a breast cancer patient with stage 4, metastatic cancer, when her markers go from 4, 700 down to 53?

Dr. Soroosh Armandi
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
11 years in practice
255K people helped
What are "markers" and what does it mean to a breast cancer patient with stage 4, metastatic cancer, when her markers go from 4, 700 down to 53?

Tumor marker: You must be referring to a particular tumor marker! tumor markers are used to track the progress of certain cancers. If your number has gone down to that level it means the modality of treating your brest cancer has been very effective! it does not necessarily mean you are in remission, all it means is that your breast cancer has responded very well to the treatment you have received! ...Read more

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Dr. Francine Mosley
Board Certified, General Practice
15 years in practice
339K people helped
10

10
I am am not ovulating and doc did sonogram and noticed my uterus was almost 13 mm thick. This was a few days before my period. Can this mean cancer?

Dr. Francine Mosley
Board Certified, General Practice
15 years in practice
339K people helped
I am am not ovulating and doc did sonogram and noticed my uterus was almost 13 mm thick. This was a few days before my period. Can this mean cancer?

What did s/he say?: After a sonogram - or any medical test - you must f/u with the Doctor who ordered the test, to get thorough results about your personal test results. ...Read more

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Dr. Rashed Hasan
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29 years in practice
624K people helped
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