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AFP surveillance question

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  • AFP surveillance question

    As I'm anxiously waiting for the next two weeks to go by so I can have another blood test (back to monthly tests now) I'm hoping you could all help me out with a bit of anxiety relief.
    How many people have had their AFP go up out of range (HCG still <2) and then back down without it being a relapse?
    My latest test had gone to 6.9, with 6.1 being the top "normal" range. Has anyone ever, after two years or so, bounced up their AFP and then had it come back down?
    I'm really fearing a relapse, as I never had chemo after the RPLD. I was giving a 75% or greater chance of a cure with just the RPLD and was REALLY hoping to avoid chemo.
    Thanks! I'm sleepless over this......
    Left I/O Aug 06 2004 - Dr. Vitas / Rockledge FL
    RPLND Oct 14 2004 - Dr. Foster / Indianapolis IND
    Seminoma & Embryonal Cell Carcinoma mixed
    Stage IIa

  • #2
    I can tell you that AFP is my worse nightmare. After 6 weeks of 4 EP it went up to 22. Now I have a tumor around my spinal cord, and in need of a stem cell transplant. I would get a second opinion on the lymph nodes. Embryonal is a very aggressive cell and can hide (like it must have in me). Get things taken care of now, and talk to more than one doctor. Good luck!
    Diagnosed August 2005
    R/O August 2005 AFP 210

    4xEP beginning December 2005
    End Feb/March 2006 AFP 4.6
    April 2006 AFP 22 and rising

    Tandem Stem Cell Transplant 7/06 - 9/06
    December 07 AFP = 3.3
    December 07 CT = Clear!

    15+ months remission


    • #3
      Neon, I wouldn't worry just yet. AFP can rise on occasion, with false positives being caused by tobacco and alcohol use. What would be cause for concern is a continuous steady increase over several tests. Indiana U. generally doesn't even consider the possibility of cancer until AFP has increased to over 25 ng/ml.

      Also, "normal" ranges for tumor markers can vary from lab to lab. My lab defines normal as under 8 ng/ml.

      Relax, take your next test, and see what transpires. If you're sticking to a good surveillance protocol you'll likely catch any possible recurrence in its early stages.
      Vinny (aka Frank)

      left I/O 1/5/05; 95%EC / 5% mature teratoma; stage IIIC
      4x BEP 1/24/05 - 4/11/05; RPLND (left side) 5/31/05
      VATS resection of teratoma from left lung 4/26/06
      Presently surveilling


      • #4
        Anything less then 15 is considered normal in many Cancer Institutes... I had a little scare a few months back forcing me into having a blood test for AFP,HCG and LDH weekly.. My AFP fluctuated from 2.1 to 6.8 within these 3 months of tests up 3 full piont up or down per week and the worry was my HCG--go figure... I think you'll be fine.. FYI... Afp will usually climb very,very quickly as in by the hundreds in MOST cases when a reoccurence is happening... Best of luck and continued good health!!!!!!!! DON
        Moffitt Cancer Institute
        Diagnosed/Left I/O 9/18/2004--Non-Seminoma/Stage IIIC--3X B.E.P chemo--3X T.I.P. Salvage chemo---Abdominal [email protected] 34cmX 24.5cmX 17.5cm---4/19/2005 --RPLND/Left Kidney,8 1/2lb Abdominal tumor,42 nodes removed---7/16/2005 Remission/Surveillance---Severe Peripheral Neuropathy--


        • #5
          Thanks for the good words - I try not to dwell on it, but its been such smooth sailing since the RPLND, with only one lymph node involved, that I was feeling good that I had this behind me.
          Its interesting you say they consider anything under 25 normal. At the peak of my cancer, my AFP only reached around 13 or so and my HCG only hit 139 even though the tumor had taken over the whole testicle.
          I'll keep my fingers crossed and keep ya posted about the results in three weeks. Good health to everyone!
          Left I/O Aug 06 2004 - Dr. Vitas / Rockledge FL
          RPLND Oct 14 2004 - Dr. Foster / Indianapolis IND
          Seminoma & Embryonal Cell Carcinoma mixed
          Stage IIa