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

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

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. Adam Levy
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Dr. Barry Rosen
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Cancer (Definition)

An uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion and metastases is what cancer is defined as. It produced abnormal growth of cells which acquire destructive properties causing serious threat to host's life, unless it can be removed or destroyed by ...Read more


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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?

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. Adam Levy
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31 years in practice
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Living with Skin Cancer (Checklist)

Avoid sun exposure between 10 am and 2 pm
daily
Apply sunscreen
2x day
Wear a hat outdoors on sunny days
daily
See dermatologist for check ups
2x year
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What does tumour markers (for testicular cancer)mean? Does the cancer have to be wide spread before it shows in the blood?

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

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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Managing Pain from Cancer (Checklist)

Ask oncologist to refer you to cancer pain specialist
Once
Ask pain specialist about both interventional and medication options
Once
If pancreatic cancer, ask about a celiac plexus block
Once
If neuropathy, request trial of ketamine-based topical creams
Once
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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?

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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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?

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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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?

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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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?

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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Marker (Definition)

A "marker" is a protein or enzyme that can represent a disease process. Some markers are specific for a particular disease, while ...Read more


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Dr. Adam Levy
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