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  • Beta HCG

    I am getting confused reading about the beta HCG tumor marker amounts. As for AFP the normal units are ng/ml so these seem to be more consistent. But with the HCG I hear people say they have hit the 5 barrier. I read online that the "barrier" is 5000. Obviously this is just a unit problem but all these numbers are confusing.

    So my blood work shows 6.8 IU/L. Is this normal units?

    edit: I did find a website that shows units and says that the first barrier is 5000 IU/L. Is this correct?

    Anyway I love this Forum!! It has been so much help. especially since I have not ever received a call back from my doctor.
    Last edited by Physast; 09-17-07, 12:48 AM.
    08/28/07: Diagnosed Stage 1A nonseminoma (65% teratoma (mature and immature), 10% embyonal carcinoma, 25% yolk sac); AFP: 120 ng/ml HCG: 6.8 IU/L
    09/05/07: Right I/O; Clean CT
    09/13/07: AFP: 41 ng/ml HCG: 0.5 IU/L
    09/26/07: AFP: 12 ng/ml HCG: <2
    10/22/07: AFP: 2.2 ng/ml HCG: <2
    Surveillance All Clears: 11/09/07; 04/20/08;

  • #2
    I can't answer your questions about HCG as well as some here so I will leave that to them. But I did want to say if you feel you are not getting proper attention from your Doctor, could you switch to a doctor you felt more comfortable with?
    Co-survivor with husband Boyce, Diagnosed 7-11-06, orchiectomy right testicle on 7-12-06- Stage 3A: Mixed germ cell tumor with inguinal seminomatous and kartotypic carcinoma. One tumor over 10 cm, second tumor 4 cm, Chemo 4xBEP: Bi-lateral RPLND Dec 2006, nerve sparing but left sterile.
    Current DVT
    Current testosterone replacement therapy, Testim.

    "You must abandon the life you planned, to live the life that was meant for you" ~wisdom I have learned from my family on this forum

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    • #3
      Margaret,

      I am in the process of looking for a new Doctor. I feel bad because Dr. Evans is nice and I don't want him to think he specifically has done anything in particular, but I do want someone that has more experience in TC surveillance.

      I am currently looking into Sloan in New York and also at Indianapolis if I can do a long distance program. Sloan is about 3 hours from DC where as Indianapolis is more like 9 hours.
      08/28/07: Diagnosed Stage 1A nonseminoma (65% teratoma (mature and immature), 10% embyonal carcinoma, 25% yolk sac); AFP: 120 ng/ml HCG: 6.8 IU/L
      09/05/07: Right I/O; Clean CT
      09/13/07: AFP: 41 ng/ml HCG: 0.5 IU/L
      09/26/07: AFP: 12 ng/ml HCG: <2
      10/22/07: AFP: 2.2 ng/ml HCG: <2
      Surveillance All Clears: 11/09/07; 04/20/08;

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      • #4
        You just can't go wrong with either choice but just given the distance I would pick Sloan.

        I always hate for people to think I am upset with them and doctors are esp. tough because they seem so in charge. It is like telling your boss or father that you are not happy with them...but when it comes to your health, i urge you to find someone that you really feel like is going to give you the best care possible.

        You only get one shot at this so make it count!!

        Please let me know if I can help in anyway or if you need someone to talk to. I went to SK for my husband's RPLND but we did not do chemo there so I can not give you advice about a doctor. But many here are at SK, I know Brian (Dawn posts for him) is there now and just finished chemo and they seem pleased with their doctor, and they can offer some names or advice.

        If your insurance does not accept SK and you decide to go south, I can give you some names and numbers.

        Co-survivor with husband Boyce, Diagnosed 7-11-06, orchiectomy right testicle on 7-12-06- Stage 3A: Mixed germ cell tumor with inguinal seminomatous and kartotypic carcinoma. One tumor over 10 cm, second tumor 4 cm, Chemo 4xBEP: Bi-lateral RPLND Dec 2006, nerve sparing but left sterile.
        Current DVT
        Current testosterone replacement therapy, Testim.

        "You must abandon the life you planned, to live the life that was meant for you" ~wisdom I have learned from my family on this forum

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi there -

          If you are going to go with Sloan, you can go on their website, www.mskcc.com and there is a number that is something like a patient referral service based on cancer types. They will take your information (you'll have to fax or send copies of things), look at it, and farm it to the correct doctor. This is all done within a few days' time. Drs. Russo, Bosl or Motzer are good choices. My husband sees Dr. Motzer, Danny (Michael posts for them both) sees Dr. Bosl, and several people we met while inpat at Sloan had Dr. Russo and liked him very much.

          I don't blame you for wanting a doctor with more experience and I understand how hard it is to leave someone who is doing their best to help you but just not equipped with all you need. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
          Rob and Stacy
          DX: 3/10/05, AFP: 15,047, L I/O: 3/28/05, Yolk sac tumor & teratoma, Stage IIIC, 3xBEP & 1xEP: 4/4/07 - 6/25/07, AFP: 14, RPLND 8/10/07, w. left kidney removed. 10/19/07, AFP: 1.9

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Physast
            Margaret,

            I am in the process of looking for a new Doctor. I feel bad because Dr. Evans is nice and I don't want him to think he specifically has done anything in particular, but I do want someone that has more experience in TC surveillance.

            I am currently looking into Sloan in New York and also at Indianapolis if I can do a long distance program. Sloan is about 3 hours from DC where as Indianapolis is more like 9 hours.

            Hello there,

            I think sloan kettering would be your best shot, i definatly agree with margaret. My fiance Brian had his chemo there, and will have his surgeries there as well. Dr. Bosl is one of the masters there! He is one of the best drs that specializes in germ cell cancer. they are all GREAT drs!!!

            I would love to give you the information on how to contact them, let me know if you do. keep in touch and update us


            Dawn
            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
            ALL CLEAR

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