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CA 15-3 and lymphoma
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CA 15-3 and lymphoma

My 78 yr. old mother is an 8 yr. breast cancer survivor.  She was recently diagnosed with stage 1 non-Hodgkins lymphoma (needle biopsy) and has started radiation therapy.  I noticed on her bloodwork she is being tested weekly for 2 tumor markers: CA 15-3 and CEA.  Her CEA is within normal range but her CA 15-3 is 45.5 with normals being 0-38.4.  Is it normal for the CA 15-3 to be elevated even when the lymphoma is not secondary to the breast cancer?  I understand there are non-cancerous conditions that can elevate CA 15-3 levels, but can the presence of lymphoma elevate the level as well, or is it possible her cancer is secondary to breast cancer?  Thank you for your opinion.
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1268057_tn?1418174381
I have seen and heard of patients developing NHL secondary to chemotherapy treatment for another cancer; that is possible.  

I am trying to figure out how the Oncologist is using the CA 15-3 and CEA markers; can't see how it ties into monitoring the NHL.  
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1268057_tn?1418174381
I have seen and heard of patients developing NHL secondary to chemotherapy treatment for another cancer; that is possible.  

I am trying to figure out how the Oncologist is using the CA 15-3 and CEA markers; can't see how it ties into monitoring the NHL.  
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Avatar_n_tn
In researching CA 15-3 further, there are cancers other than breast (lung, ovarian, endometrium, bladder, GI) that can cause elevated levels.  My best guess is that because my mother's NHL is deep in her left abdomen, the CA 15-3 and CEA are being monitored to keep a close watch on possible metastasis to the GI tract or stomach.  Does that sound logical to you?  
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1268057_tn?1418174381
That does sound plausible.  

Perhaps you can ask your mother about it or if you go with her during her visits you could ask to get a definite answer.

I wish all the best for you and your mother.

Keep us posted.    
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