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Dr Uzaer
Dr Uzaer, Cancer Surgeon
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 7965
Experience:  I am in a Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic surgery unit, dealing with all kinds of cancer surgeries.
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My mom has just received a full blood work. She had gastric

Customer Question

Hi there, my mom has just received a full blood work for follow up. She had gastric lymphoma 5 years ago.
All her blood work came out perfect. Excellent ranges, except for her ferritin.
She has never been tested before, the dr. or secretary must have checked it off. Based on the lab she went to her ferritin is mildly elevated. Her reading was 205 ug/l-normal range for lab was 15-150 ug/l. Her total iron is norm 12 - normal range for lab is 7-30 umol/L and her TIBC is normal 51- normal range is 39-65 umol/L. Her saturation % is 0.24-normal range is 0.25-0.50.
Is this concerning. Her liver and kidney function levels are perfect. could this be her normal range? She is about 5'1 and weighs 157 pounds, a little heavy. She has been stressed lately, has psoriasis and also had a fungal infection under her breast. She was given topical cream for this.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Oncology
Expert:  Dr Uzaer replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome.

There is nothing much to worry about. Ferritin level alone up to 300 considered normal in females. As far as her percentage and TIBC is in normal range nothing to worry about. Just relax.

Expert:  Dr Uzaer replied 1 year ago.

Let me know if you have further questions.

Please do not forget to leave a positive rating by clicking on stars on top right corner.

Wish your mom good health.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok, thank you. My concern is that ferritin levels can be associated with lymphoma according to the internet. When my mom was being treated, the oncologist, never did check this marker.
What does this elevated ferritin reading mean? could you also explain to me what the iron level, TIBC and saturation mean? With those reading being normal, what could this mean for my mom?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The reason I am so concerned is because our GP suggested we visit our Hematologist again. This has brought back many scary and difficult memories.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also our GP wants my mom to have an ultrasound of the abdomen. She does not want to have this ultrasound. She had her endoscopy last August and all looked great. What do you suggest? I have emailed her oncologist/hematologist and am awaiting response.
Does this mean that my mom may have iron overload? We went to Lifelabs and I find that their ferritin range levels are much lower in comparison to others but my doctor told me we need to use these ranges not what other ranges may be
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her iron is 12 and her TIBC is 51 but her saturation is 0.24%- this lab marked saturation as low because their reference range is 0.25-0.50
Expert:  Dr Uzaer replied 1 year ago.

Yes serum ferittin level has a value as tumor marker. It is usually raised in lymphomas but most important is serum ferritin measurements may be of clinical usefulness in the initial evaluation and in the assessment of response to therapy in patients with lymphomas. So now this value would be used as refference in further therapy and treatment.. I would suggest the best move for your mom is to follow up with her oncologist specially if her symptoms aggrevates. Endoscopy is different from ultrasound so if doctor suggest ultrasound it is better to get it. Saturation is considered normal as 0.1 does not make much difference.

Let me know if you have further questions.

Please do not forget to leave a positive rating by clicking on stars on top right corner.

Best.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
just because her ferritin is elevated does not mean she has lymphoma again, correct? It is a marker that is used for monitoring treatment not diagnosing?
Could you also provide more detail regarding these results for ferritin and iron. If you were her oncologist would you be concerned?
What does this mean clinically? Do you think her elevation is due to diet. I did mention that she has psoriasis and had a fungal infection under her breast.
Expert:  Dr Uzaer replied 1 year ago.

Based on a single tumor marker reading done for the first time it can not be assessed if the tumor marker was already elevated before or if this reading is actually less than her original before she started treatment. The first reading is always taken as a baseline. I would suggest that a follow up with her oncologist be made. If I were her oncologist I would get another reading done after 3 weeks and compare it with the first one. And I have told you in my previous post and will like to reiterate that up to 300 ug/l is the standard upper limit of normal.

So, follow up with her oncologist on the date given, this reading is not the effect of the lymphoma coming back.

Please do not forget to leave a positive rating by clicking on stars on top right corner.

Best.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok do you think that it is due to diet or that this could be her normal range? I understand that 300 ug/l is the upper normal but not according to the lab my mom went to. If we use their range of 150 as the upper normal, is 205 high? also my mom went for her blood work on March 31 an he repeated the ferritin on April 18. But she was not fasting. The ferritin were pretty much the same at 208.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is this iron overload or actually normal?
Expert:  Dr Uzaer replied 1 year ago.

This is not an overload, in over load situation - the levels are very high. If both the results from the previous and this time are same, then the level is static and you need not to be concerned about it. I would say this is normal level for her. I do not think her diet has anything to do with this. However, if you think that she is getting food that is high in iron like spinach, too much of sea food, pork, apples, raisins and apricots or apples, then restrict it for a while and have the test repeated again after 3 weeks.

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Best.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok, thank you. You have really helped me. My mom also had a blood transfusion back in 2011 when she was being treated. Could this have created an increase in ferritin, she is postmenopausal.
Expert:  Dr Uzaer replied 1 year ago.

No connection with the transfusion done in 2011.

Pleasure to have helped.

Please do not forget to leave a positive rating by clicking on stars on top right corner.

Best.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry did you mean, I need NOT be concerned about it? thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
how long will it take for ferritin levels to decrease once diet is changed?
Expert:  Dr Uzaer replied 1 year ago.

Yes, that is what I meant.

It takes a couple of weeks for the levels to start going down.

Expert:  Dr Uzaer replied 1 year ago.

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Best wishes.