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cea markers

mtnmama
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2010

Going for my cea markers tomorrow, 3rd anniversary of diagnosis for stage 3 anal cancer. Good results from treatments and so far so good!! I am more nervous this time about the test results than I have been before, don't know why, call it a feeling. Looking forward to that 5 year milestone. Very thankful for finding this site and all the posts I read on here of encouragement and advice, it's much easier to express feelings here than with those around me cause they don't really understand the anxiety we sometimes feel. Every day is a special day and my prayers are with everyone in or post treatment. So glad we are not alone

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2903
Joined: Jan 2010

I want to wish you the best with the markers tomorrow. I hope your good news continues!

ACW189
Posts: 24
Joined: Feb 2009

Is this marker test a normal follow up procedure? What is it? None of my onc docs have mentioned it.
ACW

mtnmama
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2010

cea markers is the blood work that is done at first in 3 month intervals (1st year) then six month intervals, it measures the cancer cells in your bloodstream and is an indicator of how well you are doing. I think most doctors do it at least for the first five years at 6 month intervals then yearly. If it raises a flag then they can order more tests to see what is going on. Good luck

JDuke's picture
JDuke
Posts: 443
Joined: Nov 2009

This is interesting. I was told by the oncologist that I used when originally dx'd that there are no CEA markers for anal cancer. Have not had any of the Drs. at Moffitt mention anything about them either. They have certainly taken their fair share of blood. I hope others will share their experience on this subject.

winnipeg
Posts: 24
Joined: Apr 2010

I have never had CEA markers taken. I also read somewhere or heard on another board there are none for SCC of the anus. MtnMama, can you ask about this when you go ion? It might be a feel-good thing, or it might be something we all need!

Winnie

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2903
Joined: Jan 2010

My oncologist has done CEA markers on me 2 or 3 times. Although they may not indicate a possible recurrence of anal cancer at the tumor site, he told me that he does them to monitor for mets to the liver/lungs.

lizdeli's picture
lizdeli
Posts: 521
Joined: Jul 2009

I was also told that CEA markers aren't used for anal cancer.
Liz

mtnmama
Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 2010

ok, I got the real scoop from my doc...the cea they do is to check for liver mets and also colorectal which was secondary, anal being the primary and because I had lymph involvement. It still amazes me what some docs do and do NOT tell us and if we don't know what to ask we remain ignorant of so many things. I am grateful to all of you for your input and help :-). Still don't have the results, hopefully today and it's all good.
Christine

SueRelays
Posts: 489
Joined: Dec 2009

Thank you for the update. I have never had CEA markers either....
I'm going to ask my onc about it though, since I have also had lung cancer, and the anal eventually spread to my liver. Again, we learn more from each other......

duckyann
Posts: 162
Joined: Jun 2009

I have had one CEA blood test. My oncologist told me that it does not show up anal cancer but it can show if any cancer cells might of spread to other parts. He didn't specifically say "liver" or "lungs" but that is what I assumed because this cancer is known to go to those two spots.

winnipeg
Posts: 24
Joined: Apr 2010

I had liver mets, and rectal "polyp" (4.9cm) and no nodes...and have never to my knowledge been tested for CEA markers. You think I would have been all along esp as my case at the time was considered rare.

Winnie

lizdeli's picture
lizdeli
Posts: 521
Joined: Jul 2009

I asked the docs again about CEA markers and anal cancer and the same answer - it's not used for anal cancer. If the anal cancer goes to the liver and/or lung, it's still anal cancer so not sure how CEA could be used. It is a marker for other cancers and maybe it's used as a guideline for other activity from different cancers.
Liz

marknyc's picture
marknyc
Posts: 6
Joined: May 2013

Hi all,
First post here - 6 year survivor of stage 4 anal cancer.  Mets to my lungs and kidney so far.

Just asked my doc about markers for anal cancer and he said there are none.  He said studies have not shown CEA to be valid and that the only result of following it would be to me make me nervous.

Damn - I really would love to have a marker to watch!

Mark

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2903
Joined: Jan 2010

Congratulations on being a 6-year survivor of stage 4 disease!  That is quite wonderful to hear.  I hope you are holding your own against the disease and doing well. 

As for CEA being a good marker for anal cancer, I have to agree wtih your doc--it's not.  It is primarily used for lung and colon cancers.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Never heard of cea markers and I have had cancer twice and been to 3 hospitals. Hmmmm.

horsepad's picture
horsepad
Posts: 84
Joined: Apr 2012

I have had CEA testing every 6 weeks since diagnosis.  That has been changed to every 4 months.  I was told by doctors it is not an accurate test.  My markers went up and it scared me to death.  Doc said if it is going to worry me, don't have test.  Still want it.  I am stage 4, mets to liver.  Maybe it won't work for anal cancer, but it does bring me comfort knowing it could show a new cancer.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2903
Joined: Jan 2010

The CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen) has been around for decades.  I worked for an internist back in the late 70's/early 80's who used to do this blood test on his patients quite often.  I guess there must be some validity to it, otherwise, no doctors would still be doing it.  That said, I'm not sure what the percentage is of it actually pointing to a specific cancer. 

NYinTX's picture
NYinTX
Posts: 64
Joined: Feb 2013

good ole wiki =  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcinoembryonic_antigen

I have bolded the "unreliable test" section fyi, as well as the nonspecificity of the CEA marker

Good luck...

 

Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a glycoprotein involved in cell adhesion. It is normally produced during fetal development, but the production of CEA stops before birth. Therefore, it is not usually present in the blood of healthy adults, although levels are raised in heavy smokers. CEA is a glycosyl phosphatidyl inositol (GPI)-cell surface anchored glycoprotein whose specialized sialofucosylated glycoforms serve as functional colon carcinoma L-selectin and E-selectin ligands, which may be critical to the metastatic dissemination of colon carcinoma cells.[2][3][4] 

CEA was first identified in 1965 by Phil Gold and Samuel O. Freedman in human colon cancer tissue extracts.

It was found that serum from individuals with colorectal carcinoma,[6] gastric carcinoma, pancreatic carcinoma, lung carcinoma and breast carcinoma, as well as individuals with medullary thyroid carcinoma, had higher levels of CEA than healthy individuals (above 2.5 ng/ml).

CEA elevation is known to be affected by multiple factors. It varies inversely with tumor grade (well-differentiated tumors secrete more CEA). CEA is elevated more in tumors with lymph node and distant metastasis than in organ-confined tumors (varies directly with tumor stage). Left-sided tumors tend to have higher CEA levels than right-sided tumors. Tumors causing obstruction produce higher CEA levels. Aneuploid tumors produce more CEA than diploid tumors. Liver dysfunction increases CEA levels as the liver is the primary site of CEA metabolism.

CEA levels are higher for smokers than for nonsmokers. Other nonneoplastic causes of elevated CEA include inflammatory bowel disease, peptic ulcer disease, pancreatitis, biliary disease, liver dysfunction (as stated above) and hypothyroidism. [7]

Regions of high CEA levels in the body can be detected with the monoclonal antibody arcitumomab.[clarification needed]

CEA measurement is mainly used[citation needed] as a tumor marker to identify recurrences after surgical resection, or localize cancer spread through dosage of biological fluids. The CEA blood test is not reliable for diagnosing cancer or as a screening test for early detection of cancer.[8] Most types of cancer do not produce a high CEA. Elevated CEA levels should return to normal after successful surgical resection, or within 6 weeks of starting treatment if cancer treatment is successful.[citation needed]

CEA levels may also be raised in some non-neoplastic conditions like ulcerative colitis, pancreatitis, cirrhosis,[9] COPD, Crohn's disease as well as in smokers.[citation needed]

Antibodies to CEA are also commonly used in immunohistochemistry to identify cells expressing the glycoprotein in tissue samples. In adults, CEA is expressed only in cancer cells, especially adenocarcinomas, such as those arising in the colon, lung, breast, stomach, or pancreas. It can therefore be used to distinguish between these and other similar cancers. For example, it can help to distinguish between adenocarcinoma of the lung and mesothelioma, a different type of lung cancer which is not normally CEA positive. Because even monoclonal antibodies to CEA tend to have some degree of cross-reactivity, occasionally giving false positive results, it is commonly employed in combination with other immunohistochemistry tests, such as those for BerEp4, WT1, and calretinin.[10]

 

 

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