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Question:

Could you kindly specify what blood tests should be done . and frequency of testing once the treatment has begun. I have been doing the CEA every 3 months which is on a continual rise. My Dr knows nothing about DCA but is willing to work with me if she is aware of what should be checked regularily. Keith

Answer:

Dear Keith,

CEA is a tumor marker that is most useful for tracking the dynamics of cancer. The increase of CEA might indicate that the tumor is growing while the decrease of CEA might indicate that the tumor is decreasing in size.

What type of cancer and what stage do you have?

If it is Colon cancer - I suggest you to carefully read this case presentation: Long-term stabilization of stage 4 colon cancer using sodium dichloroacetate therapy

Regarding your question about the laboratory tests that should be performed and monitored:

• Full blood exam / Complete blood count. It is a basic blood test that should be done at every hospital or clinic setting. An example would be:
Full blood exam list

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

• Basic metabolic panel. It shows the blood biochemical properties which are important to monitor the function of the kidneys, liver and other organs. An example would be:
Basic metabolic panel list

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

• Tumor markers. These biomarkers are helpful at following the effectiveness of the therapy. Their elevated or reduced levels can help you follow the changes of your cancer.

If possible, perform these blood test at least every 1 or 2 months to track your situation and discuss further step with your oncologist.

Also, when on anticancer therapy it is helpful to have a Computed tomography or a Magnetic resonance imaging scan at least once in 3 months. Sonography can also provide information. These imaging tests should provide information about the size changes of the tumor.

They are really helpful to build a whole image of your health and the changes in the tumor. Your doctor should be completely aware of these tests and explain you the importance of them.