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I need some info

pjenks57's picture
pjenks57
Posts: 112
Joined: Nov 2003

My Hubby as some of you will remember from my ramblings of days gone past has stage IV colon cancer met to liver and one lung and nodes. After three treatments (xeloda and oxliplatin) (never was good at spelling).. his cancer shrunk 50%. Now he is on treatment #6 today and in a couple of weeks we will do another CAT scan and see where we are now. The Dr. just discussed with me the CEA level which I was never told about before. He said prior to chemo the level was 694 and after the three treatments had dropped to 120. What does this mean. He tells me that it means the chemo is working... well duhhh... What do I look for, what does CEA mean and is this a question I should ask Dr. often?
Let me also take this time to THANK everyone on this board for their support and kind words to me and to everyone else. I love reading all the posts and learn a lot from them. THANK YOU

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy, pjenks -

CEA is a blood marker for cancer. The lower the number the lower the carcinogen enzyme. A drop such as you described is fantastic, but... (don't you hate that "but"?)

CEA has been shown time and again to be a rudimentary indicator. Some folks don't throw CEA indicators (like mois) and there is a very high level of false readings associated with the test. The proof is in the pudding though - your hubby's tumors have shrunk 50% already. Keep at it slay that dragon!

So glad to hear things are going well for you guys!

Best regards

- SpongeBob

pjenks57's picture
pjenks57
Posts: 112
Joined: Nov 2003

Thank you. I am keeping my sword at the ready. I am praying for more good news with the next CAT scan in three weeks. Thanks for your support of me and all of those who write. I love reading the support and positive attitudes.. Thanks

StacyGleaso's picture
StacyGleaso
Posts: 1246
Joined: Mar 2003

Again (not surprisingly) SpongeBob is right...

Great that the docs say it is dropping. That does mean the chemo appears to be doing its job. On the other hand, do not be immediately alarmed if that number rises, as the accuracy for this reading isn't very high. So just because the number may rise, does not mean that it's a guarantee that anything is back.

I am so happy for you & your hubby! Sounds like things are starting to move in the right direction!

GOOD FOR YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stacy

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