Topic: Tumor Marker Tests - CA19-9

My husband was diagosed with cholangio in late October.  It was advanced and inoperable.  He's being treated with GEMZAR and TARCEVA and his markers are coming down.  However, our new insurance company refuses to pay for the tests for the markers, CA19-9.  What tests are being used for cholangio tumor markers?

Re: Tumor Marker Tests - CA19-9

CA19-9, while imperfect, is really the only commonly used tumor marker for Cholangio.  Most all of us use it and I have not heard of any insurance company denying that charge.
I'd fight for it.  Ask for a patient advocate from the Insurance, when they say no then ask to speak to a supervisor.   Your oncologist may be willing to help as they need a way to measure the effect of the Chemo and sometimes the marker is the only choice.
-Peter

Re: Tumor Marker Tests - CA19-9

Thank you Peter!  The American Cancer Society and Johns Hopkins, among others, also seem to think CA19-9 is the test to use.  AETNA appears to be way off base.  Now I'm very worried about having to fight them for other things too, but FIGHT I WILL!

Re: Tumor Marker Tests - CA19-9

Tell them your going to send an alert e-mail to NBC and ABC and all the networks and ask them to do a poll rating of medical insurance companies and explain to them Your Husband is fighting for his life and they are refusing to approve blood test to see if the treatment he is undergoing is evening working which probally cost 20 times more I'm sure than the blood test.  We have atena for dental only and that is going to change.  We should boycott all Medical Insurance Companies that create stress and frustration over life threating situations like this.  You'll come out on top as persistence does pay in dealing with matters like this.  All the Power to ya !!!!!!
There I'm calmed down a little.  Best of luck to you.  Remember like most large business you have to by-pass the script person before you get results.

Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)