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Question About HCG

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  • Question About HCG

    have been wondering about this for a while, does anyone know what normal HCG levels are in a male? are there normal levels? or is it supposed to be at zero?

    Also, when ever Brian gets his markers, they always give us the HCG levels, not the AFP levels, they only told us what they were in the beginning. whats the difference between them? and how come they are not giving us both of the counts? i hope this makes sense...

    Last edited by DAWN82; 08-29-07, 10:26 AM. Reason: typo
    Fiance Brian, dx:stage IIIC non-sem 4/18/07
    mets to lungs,liver,abdomin,large tumor near kidney
    hcg was 176,000!
    completed 1 rnd of TIP(had bad reaction to taxol)
    BEPx3 until 7/13/07
    7/26/07 post chemo ct-scan shwd shrinkage & fewer lung tumors
    10/17/07 @ MSKCC Liver FREE of cancer! necrotic & small focus of teratoma.
    AFP & HCG normal
    12/7/07 RPLND,right orchiectomy @ MSKCC
    12/18/07, rcvd pathology,all clear! no cancer!
    2/11/08 -Lung surgery dne @ MSKCC

  • #2
    HCG can be detected in everybody but the levels are so low in an adult male that the reported value is normally zero. When I was being tested at my local hospital the result always came back at zero. When I was tested an Indiana University it came back as .3 or .2 . I think it all depends on the assay used and the labs defined values. I know that some HCG tests are accurate to .2 while others are accurate to .5 . To answer your second question, If his AFP wasn't elevated to start with, then they may only check it every once in a while. A tumor can secrete afp and hcg or both or neither. It seems as though his tumor only secreted HCG therefore its not necessary to check AFP as it probably wouldn't reveal anything about the progress of his treatment and just end up costing more money.


    • #3
      Danebert is right. Pretty much all of the tumor types may secrete HCG (choriocarcinoma always does; seminoma less frequently than all the rest). AFP is always a hallmark of non-seminoma, with yolk sac tumor being the headliner here.
      "Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller
      11.22.06 -Dx the day before Thanksgiving
      12.09.06 -Rt I/O; 100% seminoma, multifocal; Stage I-A; Surveillance; Six years out! I consider myself cured.


      • #4
        Anthonys HCG was elevated when he was diagnosed and then it normalized after chemo. (embryonal carcinoma must must have been the cause for HGC in his case)

        Since completing chemo his HCG is always 0 to less than 1 I think it was less than 2 a couple of times too.

        Fed, thanks for confirming what I figured must be the case. After chemo he had residual yolk sac tumor, which is the reason his AFP increased after treatment.

        Teratoma was found when he had RPLND too.

        Son Anthony DX 12/11/06
        L/O 12/20/06 Stage IIIA, 95% EC, 5% Yolk Sac
        4XEP 1/29-4/6/ 07
        AFP started increasing3 wks later
        Residual abdominal mass found on CT
        RPLND 6/8/07
        Cancer in pathology-
        80% mature teratoma, 20% Yolk Sac. --
        No adjuvent chemo and
        AFP normalised

        July 22, 2010 ---- 3 years all clear!