Carcinoid by the numbers

A lot of emphasis is placed on certain blood tests detect or measure carcinoid. A single test result usually is not trusted but trends are good.
There are a number of blood tests that are used by oncologists to detect or confirm carcinoid. These are used for me:

  1. Chromogranin A – a protein found in neuroendocrine cells which may be elevated when you have the cancer.
  2. Seratonin – a hormone normal to the body but often found at high levels when you have carcinoid cancer. High levels and long exposure to seratonin is known to cause carcinoid heart disease, which is a deformation of the heart valves. About 25% of carcinoid patients die of heart disease.
  3. Gastrin – a hormone which stimulates stomach acid. Some carcinoids (me for instance) have long histories of stomach trouble and even bleeding ulcers. This goes undiagnosed or mis-diagnosed until the carcinoid tumors are discovered.

Here is a history of my numbers combined with the events that affected them:

Name Chromogranin A Gastrin Serotonin
Standard range 1.9 – 15.0 < 101 22 – 180
05/06/11 Biopsy confirms carcinoid tumor
05/10/11 42 125 892
06/08/11 Self-injecting octreotide
06/22/11 Monthly sandostatin injections start
07/25/11 6.2 142 400
08/10/11 chemoembolization
09/19/11 2.6 140 182
11/07/11 64 175
12/05/11 4 53 132
01/04/12 3.2 20 136
01/26/12 1.8 40 155
02/28/12 3.2 106 160

Looking at this, I can see perhaps why my acid stomach is coming back.

Given all the interest in the numbers, we must always be aware that some individuals have good numbers but still show the carcinoid syndrome.

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Carcinoid by the numbers was last modified: May 15th, 2012 by cy

2 thoughts on “Carcinoid by the numbers

  1. It will be at least a few days before I have the octreoscan. Perhaps a few days after that. They have not yet given me a schedule for the scan.

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