Introduction and purpose: Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women in the world, Advances in paraclinical methods have resulted in dramatic changes in determining the survival of patients. Serial evaluation of serum levels of tumor markers is one of these methods.
Methods: During 1993-2002, 277 cases with breast cancer after mastectomy were included in this cross sectional study. Data were extracted from the patients records. Characteristics of the patients associated with serum levels of tumor markers like CEA,CA15-3 and receptor markers like ER,PR with P53,Cathepsin-D and HER -2 were evaluated.
Results: The most common involved age was in the 4th decade, accounting for 43.3%of the total. Most of the cases (54.3%) had stage II disease; Ductal carcinoma with frequency of 83.3% was the most common pathology involved and bone metastasis with 59% was prominent. There were elevated serum levels of CEA and CA15-3 in 50.6% and 41.7%, respectively. There was no statistical relation between serum levels of these markers with disease stage (CEA: pearson chi-square = 0.133 CAl5-3: Pearson chi-square = 0.064). There was a great increase in serum level of tumor markers during relapse (CEA P = 0.000 CA15-3 P = 0.000). Discussion and
Conclusions: Because diagnosis of breast cancer is generally at advanced stage in our country, serum levels of tumor markers demonstrate great differences from those published for the Western world. It seems, however, that serum levels of tumor markers might be reliable for predicting relapses.