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Worried about AFP

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  • Worried about AFP

    Hi there everyone, I hope all of you are having a great Easter Sunday. I am hoping that maybe some of you can shed some light on my problem. For the past couple of weeks I have been so worried about my AFP. For the first couple of months it was always 2.1 and then in month 5 it went up to 2.5 and then in month 6 it went up a tenth of a point to 2.6. I know that it is in normal range and my doctor said since it only went up a tenth of a point this last time he says I shouldn't worry because if it was active cancer we would see a faster jump in the numbers. I remember a lot of you saying that your numbers are never exactly the same month to month on surviellence and a lot of you put "normal" for you AFP instead of an exact number. The only thing I did different the last two months when I got my blood work was eat a good breakfast since my doctor said food has no effect on my blood results, is this true? Because before when my AFP was always 2.1 I had been fasting before I went into have my blood drawn. For all you that have been on Surviellence for a long time have your AFP test always been the same month to month. My HCG is still undetectable but was elevated before my I/O so I guess if cancer did come back I would see a spike in both and not just one. I know stress is bad and have thought about seeking some counseling because I have literally made myself sick by worrying so much. I notice that my last cold took almost a month to get over and my doctor says it was due to stress. I gained weight just from stress eating so I am going to see if I can get a friend or brother to start going to the gym with me to relieve some stress there and get in better shape. I know that I could be making a mountain out of an ant hill but I guess stress goes hand in hand with surviellence. I would really like to hear all of you about what you think and your experience with AFP going up and down. Take Care
    Last edited by tonytigre; 04-16-06, 02:28 PM.
    Right I/O- 9/12/2005

  • #2
    Tony, you absolutely, positively should not be worried about your AFP level!

    Once mine came down to normal, here was my series of AFP test results for the first year: 2.5, 3.4, 3.5, 2.7, 1.9, 3.1, 3.1, 3.1, 1.6, 2.0, 1.9, 1.7.

    I would only worry about a sustained upward trend, and I wouldn't worry at all with your readings.
    right inguinal orchiectomy 6/5/2003 > nonseminoma, stage I > surveillance > L-RPLND 6/24/2005 for recurrence, suspected teratoma but found seminoma, stage II > chylous ascites until 9/2005 > surveillance and "all clear" since

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    • #3
      Afp,afp, Afp

      My AFP is even more oscillating : 2.6 -> 5.8 ->3.9 - > 5 . I'm anxios too. I'm a daily drinker (beer only) and maybe this is the cause. But I was daily drinker (of wine) before TC too, and the AFP where 2.6 !!
      Stage III EC 85% + Sem 15%
      AFP=2.6; HCG=10, 20,28 and rising
      FULL CAT scan:
      -abdominal lymph clear
      -subpleural lungs metastasis [bipulmonary lesions with diam <= 1cm]
      4 x BEP changed to 3 x BEP at my request
      from 2005-05....Surveillance


      • #4
        Your numbers are well within normal. I would try not to worry. I don't even ask what my results are any more, exact number-wise. Knowing it's 1.1 one month, 3.2 the next, can just lead to worry like you're experiencing.

        If it's anything to be concerned about, your doctor will let you know. Food should not have any major impact on your AFP. And neither should alcohol, unless you went on a real binge right before the test or have alcohol abuse problems that make your liver work too hard.

        I generally don't drink alcohol the day before my blood tests, but I've had a couple pints a few times and it made no difference. I also eat normally before my tests and have never been told anything about drinking or eating regarding the results.
        Right I/0 March 30, 2005
        Left I/O April 20, 2005
        Embryonal carcinoma, teratocarcinoma
        Surveillance since May 19, 2005


        • #5
          AFP Markers

          Oh Tony, we feel your pain. If you check Wesley's surveillance thread we are going through the same thing on the AFP marker too. It is slightly rising pretty much every month but it's like .2 here .3 there. I think in January we were 2.3 and now it's 3.9. How frustrating!!! I like you, am watching and reading what others say in this situation and I hate to say it but time will tell the story. The good news is I think both of you guys are going to be just fine. I also think it's normal to feel the way we do and ask why. Don't feel alone, we are right here with you rowing on the other side of the boat. April
          Wesley's TC
          90% Embryonal 10% Seminoma
          Stage IIIa
          Treatment: Left I/O 4/11/05
          4XBEP 4/25/05
          08/05 -Surveillance & Many Scans/X-rays


          • #6
            Thanks guys for your replies. I am going in some time next week for my blood work and chest x-ray, and in May I go in for my CAT Scan. I for some reason thought that AFP was exactly the same month after month and never changed. I know Rune has been on Surviellence for 2 years and wonder if your AFP has changed any. I mean I feel fine and so far my last 3 CAT scans have come out clean without even a trace on an enlarged lymph node, so I kind of feel better. I do have a question for you all.

            Since I was classified as stage 1a and my original tumor was 90% immature teratoma and 10% yolk sac are my chances better of not having a reoccurence. I asked my GP and he really didn't know so I figure I would ask my onocologist next month. I just wonder because I am not sure if immature teratoma is considered "Active Cancer" or if it can eventually turn into cancer. Because I thought I only had 10% active cancer with the yolk sac and I thought the immature teratoma was benign. I am not sure if immature teratoma and yolk sac are aggresive or not. My doctor said my markers were only elevated because of the yolk sac portion so I thought that ment I only had 10% active cancer and my odds were pretty good with surviellence. What do you all think and could you shed some light. Again thanks for all the responses to my questions but going in for my blood work the past two months have put me on edge. I was always used to 2.1 then it changed, but after I saw Scott's first year blood test, it really eased my nerves since I could see the ups and downs. Thanks Again and God Bless
            Right I/O- 9/12/2005


            • #7
              Well I just got my results from my April checkup and my AFP went down to 2.3 So I guess there are going to be ups and downs with my blood work but as long as it is normal I am happy. My chest X-ray and HCG test came out clean too!
              Right I/O- 9/12/2005


              • #8
                There you go. Good news, Tony!!
                right inguinal orchiectomy 6/5/2003 > nonseminoma, stage I > surveillance > L-RPLND 6/24/2005 for recurrence, suspected teratoma but found seminoma, stage II > chylous ascites until 9/2005 > surveillance and "all clear" since

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                • #9
                  Hi, Just started reading this post...Chris' AFP goes up and down also, and I always worry, lately staying at 3.0......glad you are doing ok...Mary Ellen


                  • #10
                    Glad to hear you're OK.

                    I recently had blood work done twice, exactly 3 weeks apart by the same lab.

                    On March 3rd my AFP was 4.0, on March 24th, my AFP was 2.9. That's a change of 1.1 units over a 3 week period. I think we just have to get used to the fact that AFP is fairly variable. I know it's easy to panic, but it seems everyone who has posted their AFP results here has seen a lot of variation. I really suspect with active cancer AFP would increase rapidly.

                    Right I/O 4/22/1988
                    RPLND 6/20/1988
                    Left I/O 9/17/2003

                    Tho' much is taken, much abides; and though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are; one equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will; to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.