The importance of preoperative elevated serum levels of CEA and CA15-3 in patients with breast cancer in predicting its histological type.

A K Agrawal, M Jelen, J Rudnicki, Z Grzebieniak, D Zyśko, W Kielan, J Słonina, G Marek


It is not known whether in patients with breast cancer the occurrence of elevated serum tumour markers depends on its histological type. The aim of the study was to assess relationship between breast cancer histological type and the presence of increased serum levels of CEA and CA 15-3. The study population was 428 patients (all women, mean age 52.5 years), treated at The Department of Surgery of Wroclaw Medical University from 2005 to 2008 due to breast cancer. All of them had their preoperative CA 15-3 and CEA serum concentrations measured. According to the TNM system, 21% of patients were in stage I, 32.5% in stage II, 46.5% in stage III of the disease. In patients with ductal type of the cancer the elevated serum levels of CEA and CA 15-3 were observed in 48.7% and 42.2%, in lobular type in 42.4% and 52.5%, and in non-ductal/tubular types in 48.1% and 40.4% (p=N/S). Stepwise logistic regression analyses showed that ductal breast cancer is related to elevated CEA and normal CA 15-3 serum levels. The histological types of breast cancer are not significantly related to elevated serum levels of CEA and/or CA 15-3.

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