Helped Over 500,000 patients with 98%+ satisfaction.

Connect & Get Personalized 1-to-1 Answers from Expert Doctors

DoctorSpring > Question Home

Raised CA-15 3 at TUMOR DIAGNOSIS. Terrible PROGNOSIS?

Resolved Question:

I'm worried about my tumor markers again. I know you don't believe in them, But, every single study I have read says that if you have raised markers before surgery you have a TERRIBLE prognosis.

My ca 15 3 marker was 69 at diagnosis (should have been below 31). It has since dropped to 42, and I understand that the side effects of chemo can keep it high.

But, the point is, that it sounds like it doesn't matter that it has dropped. What matters is where is was at diagnosis. And mine was raised. And in most studies the prognosis is so bad. Relapse in 3 years.

What encouragement can you give me about this? I don't have any of the diseases that would give a false positive. I feel really hopeless. Can the good ALLRED help me with this?

One more thing.  I actually had my first ca 15 3 test right after surgery.  Do you think that surgery, or the inflammation from surgery could increase the result?

I just need some hope that this raised ca 15 3 isn't giving me a terrible prognosis.  Everything I read says it does.

Thank you

Category: Oncologist

Ask Your Own Question

Category: Hematologist
 31 Doctors Online

Thank you for posting your query at
I do understand your concern and trying to address it in a much possible simple method without any bias. Relapses within 2 - 3 years old patientis the dictum in many of the cancers presenting in advanced stages. However your stage is intermediate ( early ) and you are undergoing treatment right now with a curative intent. Moreover, a good ALLRED SCORE is more reliable than serum tumor markers.
Hence I consider that your prognosis will be good. At the same time, I don't want to give false reassurances.
I follow and provide answers for my patient's concern based on NCCN and ESMO recommendations. These are the guidelines followed by American and European oncologist. These guidelines do not recommend to do serum marker levels in situation like yours. I still wonder why these investigations are done when they do not add any specific benefit for deciding treatment.

Patient replied :

Thank you for your answer. Why do you think there are so many studies that say that positive tumor markers give a TERRIBLE prognosis?? They ALL say that. There isn't one study that says this is not true. Do you think that the studies are wrong? Or do you think that it is just that they aren't considering my good ALLRED score?

Many studies are done with all results pointing towards one conclusion. Many other have variable results, All trials are analysed in meta analysis which is the conclusive evidence, So far the evidence for serum marked is variable and is not yet mature.
Hence not recommended for routine clinical practice.
Kind regards,

Patient replied :

One more question--you said I have intermediate grade cancer. You know I had 8 out of 11 positive nodes, right? That is considered intermediate?
Thank you!

Thank you for the follow up.
Not exactly as intermediate as per TNM status, but a state in between early and advanced stage of the disease.

Dr. Prasad Eswaran
Category: Hematologist
Doctorate in Medicine (Fellowship in Oncology), DM,  Madras Medical College & Govt. General Hospital, Chennai, India.

Doctor of Medicine (Residency in Radiation Oncology) , MD, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamilnadu, India, 2004-06.

Diploma in Medical Radiology & Therapy (Residency in Radiation Oncology), D.M.R.T, Madras Medical College & Govt. General Hospital, Chennai, India, 2004-06.

Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery - M.B.B.S, Govt. Stanley Medical College & Hospital, Chennai, India, 1998-2004.
Dr. Prasad Eswaran and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

Users who read this, also read:

Make informed and better medical decisions.

Join the 500,000 people who found a smarter, quicker way to get Answers, Recommendations & Expert Opinions.

Expert Doctors at fingertips

Recommendation on next step. Second-opinion.Multi-specialty.

Save Time

Average time for answers: 6 hours.

Save Money

$35 for typical specialist consult vs. $120 for a local appointment.

Free Follow-ups

Clarify, ask further questions for free in private conversation.

100% Satisfaction

Money back guarantee for the 1st reply. MEDNET Quality Board.

Start My Consultation



Doctor Spring is a novel online Doctor consultation platform where you can get your medical questions answered by leading Doctors. Just Submit your question and rest assured that you will consult a Doctor easily. Once you submit the question, the Doctor from the concerned specialty will reply within hours. You can always ask more questions or add details with follow-up question options and make it an online doctor chat. You may use this service to consult a specialty or for getting medical second opinion. All paid services come with a MEDNET quality assurance and 100% money back guarantee.

DoctorSpring in news