This is the most interesting discussion, since in our case we have not yet clearly identified any blood tests or markers to help to raise a flag that something is wrong or will go wrong in several months.
I am not going to list them all here, but my mom had 3 pages of all possible tests for the past 5 years done on 3 to 6 months basis because of her prior autoimmune condition diagnosed in 2009. Just to give you a snapshot of that - AFP, CA19-9, LDH, Albumin, INR, etc etc etc - 3 pages of small numbers over the past 5 years on 3 to 6 month basis.
In the last few years she could qualify for a Space senior tourist program based on blood tests at 71 years (we never applied for that, but this is what her doctors said
). Well - CEA was not tested until July 2016 and since then it has been around 3 - 3,8 before and after surgery. No major change - yet. Before that CEA was tested 3 years ago and was 2,3. We will see in 1 month.
However, scans (PET/CT) show a different story. Very different. A story, which is still very difficult to recover from after such a close monitoring of blood tests AND colonoscopies every 3 years and a surgery pathology report of T3N0.
There are markers, which I personally think are the key - inflammation markers such as CRP and ESR. Those have been off charts high with everything else running normal. It does confirm the view that cancer is driven/originated from inflammation.
So, we are going to scan every 8 weeks now going forward. The question is also which scan (CT is good enough or PET/CT or MRI or all together)....
I am also wondering about false positives of scans so close to each other and/or surgery/chemo. I guess I am trying to find an explanation and am false positive hoping...
Best wishes to all and thank you for this forum.