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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Pancreatic Cancer

Question: Pancreas Tumor Markers

 leongyk - Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:18 am


This question is actually about my Mom.

In July, she went for a blood test, and her tumor marker was at 36.8, just below the warning level. (she also is a carrier of Hep, A/B/C i cant recall)

Recently, she went for another blood test, and the marker has increased to 44.

The doctor said that nothing can be confirmed now, a scan or screening will probably show up nothing now. He said to come back in another 3 months for another blood test to see if it rises again.

My question is if there is any urgency at the moment to go for a screening? How long does it usually take for pancreatic cancer / tumor to develop?

Also, is there any diet she should be taking now, that'll take a load off her pancreas and/or help decrease the marker levels? (eg. low fat, more antioxidants )

Thank you so much for your time..
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sat Dec 27, 2008 11:16 am

User avatar Hi,

Thanks for your question. Why did your Mom need to take this test? What is she complaining of?

The tumor marker (CA 19.9) alone is not significant and is not recommended for screening, diagnosis or follow up. Does she have a past history of cancer?

Best regards,
 leongyk - Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:43 am

Hi, she had no complaints and no history of cancer. just a normal check-up. Previous blood test showed that it was kind of high, so the doctor asked her to monitor it. And a recent blood test just showed that the marker had increased.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:07 am

User avatar Hello,

This is not a test that's done routinely in a normal check, which is why I asked. Nonetheless, pancreatic tumor markers are not specific and are not recommended for making a diagnosis or for screening. This may be why your doctor doesn't trust the results.

Best regards,

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