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Tumour markers, platelets and Folfirinox

Postby Didge » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:09 am

Rob had 7 treatments before he had to stop for 4 weeks due to low platelets. Apart from an intitial rise in tumour markers levels just after starting treatment (presumably keeping going from before) they have fallen consistently ever since, including during the 4 week lay off. He has now had 2 more sessions but on the second one the tests showed the tumour markers have risen again and he couldn't have the third in the new batch because he has low platelets again. I suppose the tumour marker rise could be due to the 4 week delay but of course the obvious reason is that folfirinox is not working any more. Any experience of blips with tumour marker levels going up briefly then down again on the treatment? I don't want just reassuring words because with abraxane in jeopardy if furry fox not working it might be better to swap now to something else! Also apparently there is nothing to be done about platelet levels. he does have immune system boosting injections when he has chemo but nothing can be done about platelet levels? anyone know different?

PCUK Nurse Jeni
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Re: Tumour markers, platelets and Folfirinox

Postby PCUK Nurse Jeni » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:43 am

Hi Didge,

Thanks for the updates.
Tumour markers are not reliable on their own and this is because they can go up for other reasons. For example, any underlying infection or any inflammation which might be going on inside. Also, there might be slight fluctuations throughout a typical day for things like this - so, if you were to take blood morning, afternoon and evening, for example, they could all have a different reading. The fact that they fell consistently while he was on chemo is a positive sign. When is he next due a CT scan?

With regard to the low platelets, this is correct that there is no intervention really for this. Most folk on chemo, unless its for a malignancy affecting the haematological systems such as leukaemia or lymphoma, will not have sufficiently low platelets to warrant a platelet transfusion. So the remedy is to just delay the chemo, or omit a dose to allow them more time to recover. This is due to damage to the bone marrow, which is where all the blood components are made. Giving the injections "forces" the immature White Blood cells and neutrophils to mature and multiply, but this will not work on the platelets, sorry to say.

Hope this helps?

Jeni, Support Team.

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Re: Tumour markers, platelets and Folfirinox

Postby sandraW » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:12 pm

Didge, sorry to hear that Rob is having problems too, we were told we couldn't have abraxane obviously unable to help re the platelets issue, am updating our thread, but just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you, bloody awful rotten disease, take care sandrax x

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Re: Tumour markers, platelets and Folfirinox

Postby MSH » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:13 pm

CA 19-9 can't be trusted on a single reading. Last year mine fell from 1060 to 305, then rose to 373 fell to 306 and rose to 853 before resuming its downward trajectory. There are reasons other than cancer activity to increase the reading but in my case I felt perfectly well throughout, allowing for the Folfirinox.

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Re: Tumour markers, platelets and Folfirinox

Postby Didge » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:25 pm

Thank you everyone. Most helpful comments. Next scan due in 2 or 3 weeks. Sorry to hear you are having trouble, Sandra. As you say, bloody awful rotten disease! x

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Re: Tumour markers, platelets and Folfirinox

Postby nikkis » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:01 pm

Oh, yes we have had blips in tumour markers, they have gone up, down and are back up again, but still no changes on the scan this week. Definitely thinking the stress will kill me before the Cancer gets Paul at this rate, you know how I feel I am sure!
Lots of love, Didge,

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Re: Tumour markers, platelets and Folfirinox

Postby andreamartinez » Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:50 pm

Low platelets gives you a goosebumps and anxiety attacks. Treatment has a side effects and it was advised that it would be best to try eating and drinking supplementary foods to boost iron in our body. I was actually given veggies and fruits to boost my immune system as well. I learned that strengthen our bones and rich in vitamins and minerals. I research found out info here http://www.purenutritionfacts.com/kohlr ... -benefits/

I'm still on my medications. I would suggest to my doctor to at least to recover my body. As one comment here, that to delay chemo treatment or omit the dosage.