How We Monitor Progress: Tumor Markers Part 1


Hi, I’m Dr. Branyon with New Hope Unlimited. Thanks for joining me again. I’m still traveling or we are still traveling now to Arizona in the Windshield office. So we finished talking in the last video about X-rays and how we use them for checking progress and other things.

This video I want to talk about tumor markers. I am amazed at the patients who come to the clinic now, and their doctors have never done a tumor marker. Now that’s not very many but it does happen, and I think what happens is that the insurance companies are trying to save, well now that I’m saying it and I’m gonna go ahead and say it. My opinion is that insurance companies may be saving money by not getting tumor markers. A tumor marker is a marker. Tumors cells, cancer cells circulate within the bloodstream and you can do blood, you can do urine, stool, tumors themselves, and check the markers.

Now a tumor marker is made by tumor cells that circulate and those abnormal tumor cells or cancer cells circulating will raise blood levels. Most of the tumor markers are drawn by blood, however, like I said some can be found in the tumor, urine, and stool. But the majority are done from blood. Now what happens is most cancer patients’ blood gets dark, thick and sticky, a lot of fibrin coating. And if you have your blood drawn and you’re brave enough to look at your blood, you can see it’s not as healthy-looking. And when someone has their eye trained to look at that blood, you can see that the blood is darker and much thicker. And healthy blood is more of a shiny, brighter red, the whole tint to it is different. But when a patient, a cancer patient’s blood gets dark, thick and sticky, that fibrin coating can carry things such as more bacteria, viruses, parasites, yeasts, and cancer cells circulating through the bloodstream. That’s why I kind of like to think that the bloodstream is like our tree of life. When you’ve got a good bloodstream going you are much healthier.

I remember years ago, I was asked to speak at a medical convention in New Orleans. They put me up in a hotel and I went in and got to the hotel room and I have a habit of always going and looking out the window to see where I am. And as I did look out the window, down below was a narrow river, I guess you will call it a river but it was just filthy, the water was not moving at all, it looked like it had been stagnated for a long time. You can see algae, you can see trash in it, it was kind of pathetic. And that reminded me of our bloodstream, when we are healthy, our bloodstream is definitely moving like a river, it’s not carrying algae or yeast or fungus. 

So that’s important, the bloodstream is very important. But, the tumor markers can be used for checking out the prognosis of the treatment, is the cancer aggressive or not? It shows the response to treatment, do you need to change it, or is the treatment working? It helps to monitor, and I think that’s very important. We have patients to come to us that have been in the same chemotherapy for five years or more. I’ve heard ten years and they’re not getting better — so that to me doesn’t make a lot of sense but that’s my opinion. So I think tumor markers are important to check for the values.

Now it is true that there is a possibility that tumor markers do not work, but we’ve been doing this, I’ve been in this profession for way over forty years or more. But anyway, we’ve seen thousands and thousands of cancer patients and yes, once in a blue moon there may be one, for what we see one in five hundred or seven hundred fifty that the tumor markers just seems like it doesn’t work. But overall absolutely the tumor markers help us to determine, is the treatment working? How’s the patient doing? Now when it comes to tumor markers, no matter if it’s alternative, holistic, origination medicine or chemo and radiation, doesn’t matter what treatments, the treatment itself can cause inflammation, now I’m not talking about infection, I’m talking about inflammation.

And inflammation can make the cancer cells or the tumor swell and that alone can cause tumor markers to go up a little or sometimes a lot, so you have to keep that in mind. Now sometimes when the tumor markers are going up and up, you don’t worry too much for the first couple of months but then my motto is if a doctor tells you, “oh it’s okay, it just a treatment”, after two to three months of continuing, continuing to go up, I say you need to reevaluate the treatment.

So in the next video, we will talk about tumor markers themselves and which goes with which cancer. Thanks for joining me.