I was diagnosed with a mediastinal yolk sac carcinoma (germ cell tumor) back in October of 07. I have been through chemotherapy with good results. Before therapy, my Alpha feta protein level was over 12,000, the tumor was approx. 8 centimeters, and I had a Pet Suv uptake of 22. I just had my first postchemo pet scan and blood work done in the last week or so (a month after my last chemo treatment). Now the tumor is approx. 5x4 centimeters, AFP level is 16, and the Suv of the Pet was 2.3. My doctor thinks that all of the viable cancer is gone and that the AFP level will normalize. So he plans to wait a month and check the AFP levels again. If they are normal (below 8) he is going to send me to the surgeon to have the mass removed. If they don't normalize or come down, he plans on doing two more rounds of chemotherapy. I have a few questions for anyone out there with a similar experience to mine or otherwise qualified to answer.
When the AFP is this close to normal, would it be "acceptable in the medical community" for the doctor to go ahead and order the removal of the tumor, rather than waiting a month to see "what" the AFP does?
Would it be wiser to check the AFP weekly rather than waiting a month?
Is it uncommon to still have an elevated (elevated by 8) AFP marker postchemotherapy when there is no viable cancer? Or, does it take time for the AFP to normalize after chemotherapy? -I have been off chemo for one month.