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Stable bone mets - rising tumour markers

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I posted this on Saturday - not as a "New Discussion" but at the end of my previous one - oops, still negotiating the online network ! 

You may recall that I recently had a bone scan as I had some "renewed pain" in my pelvis and upper femur Sometimes it is painful just sitting on the lounge. More comfortable to stand sometimes - not so good for fatigue !

Well, great news that my bone mets are stable - in fact the report stated "marked improvement since January this year, no new lesions and with less uptake in several areas. Some evidence of bone healing" - fantastic ! 

Went to see my radiation oncologist Friday 4/11 & had some bloods done ready to see my medical oncologist Tue 14/11. My ray onc said no reason to consider ray at the moment if it is manageable as we would be re-treating. Some days it is painful, other days more than manageable (in fact no great issue). She said otherwise I seem to have good movement, I look well, good colour and my eyes are clear.

My teenage son has had a cold, whilst I  have not had a cold, have developed some mouth ulcers - quite painful, restricting eating and went to see my GP last Fri 11/11. He put me on Bactrim (good for ulcers, apparently). It has improved quite significantly over the w/e.  

He also had a copy of my recent bloods and of course I  asked the question - white cell count, calcium, vitamin D, kidney - all good.

Tumour markers however - different matter. 

The rollercoaster begins again - tumour markers were 942 in Jan 2016 with a huge drop to 62 in June following radiotherapy, introduction of aromasin & everolimus and a 3 week stint in hospital.

In August, tm's went up to 73. My oncologist advised that it will be monitored closely - it will waver and she is happy with the range given where it was in January. However 3 months on and my tumour markers are 143 (double that from August).

Am fearful that my oncologist may suggest oral chemo (xeloda).

Am interested to know everyone's thoughts - yes, am sure I will get more answers tomorrow and that in isolation tm's alone do not determine your overall health. Not good wasting precious energy on this after all. Am thinking may have something to do with mouth ulcers ? 

I did do a quick search on tumour markers on this site and found some helpful info - I am very enviable of a tm of 32   3

Thanks to everyone for your inspiring stories and enthusiasm for life. Makes me feel far less "alone" in an otherwise busy life !

Sheryl xxx



  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,606
    Sheryl - reading your post I understand your mixed emotions!  But look at it from what your tumor markers were at the worst to where they are now and like you say there is an infection in there as well as!  Good luck for your appointment and I do hope the treatment option takes your markers even lower and your mouth ulcers clear soon
    Take care from Christine xx
  • wendy_h67
    wendy_h67 Member, Dragonfly Posts: 466
    Hi Sheryl I know what you mean when you worry about tumor markers . It's probably the first thing I ask my oncologist when I have had a blood test. Her reply is that the scans are more reliable than the tumor markers but you still worry when they go up and down especially when they have a big swing.  It is quite possible that the mouth ulcers may have something to do with it. When I had a chest infection my tumor markers went a bit crazy. If you have to go on Xeloda dont worry too much. I coped with Xeloda for 18 months . The side effects were mainly sore feet and numbness of the finger tips. The cycle was for 2 weeks on the tabs then  a weeks break .During that week off the tablets . I managed to get away for short breaks. I will be starting Afinitor tomorrow if the chemist get it in today and Im not looking forward to that. Hope everything goes well for you. Love Wendy