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Postmenopausal. History of breast & Thyroid cancers treated. Normality of the hCG beta subunit? Serum and Urine test?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
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I am interested in an add-on to the following question that Dr. XXXXXXX Anvekar had answered on the web; XXXXXXX What causes higher HCG levels post menopause'? His answer included the statement as follows: "It is commonly seen among some normal, non- pregnant, post-menopausal women to have β-hCG levels that are slightly above normal laboratory limits…"

My 66 year old postmenopausal wife has a history of breast (DCIS, 2005) & Thyroid (Papillary 2007) cancers, both treated successfullly with surgery & radiation and no evidence of reoccurrence. A recent serum hCG Beta subunit, Qualitative came back positive. I am hoping to validate Dr. Anvekar's answer that this is normal. All other blood work was normal and there are no problematic symptoms. I therefore have 2 questions for you.

1) Can you provide me with copies or links to Dr. Anvekar's data expressing the normality of the hCG beta subunit? I can find much about hCG and post-menopausal, but have been unsuccessful in locating much on hCG beta.

2) To further validate that she has no problem, I intend to have the following tests run and wonder if you think these are sufficient or have any more tests to suggest.

     Serum: hCG, hCG beta subunit QUANTITATIVE;
     Urine: HCG, hCG beta subunit QUANTITATIVE.

I am given to under stand that hCG alpha provides no value.

We plan to have this blood work in two days so a quick answer would be appreciated.

Posted Fri, 28 Jun 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 3 hours later

Thanks for your query.

Yes, I do agree with Dr Anvekar's opinion on HCG in post menopausal women.

Not in all but, if seen in women of menopausal age possibilities like cancer may have to be ruled out considering the fact that it could be detectable normally too.

There is no much on the internet to back the fact but I have provided a link which does mention the above fact in precise manner.

Its seen well explained in one of health journals with reference tag as below:

Cole LA, Sasaki Y, Muller CY. Normal production of human chorionic gonadotropin in menopause.N Engl J Med. 2007;
356 (11) :1184-1186.

If you have ruled out possibility of ovarian cancer by investigations like ultrasound and/ tumor markers. Then a Prolactin hormone level estimation to rule out Pitutary disease would be necessary along with the tests you mentioned.

Hope I answered your query.

Please let me know if there are any other concerns.

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