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Does chemo itself ever raise CEA?

Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

Does chemo treatment itself ever cause CEA to rise?


karen40's picture
Posts: 211
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi k1,
I hope this helps.

What conditions can cause an elevated CEA?

Both benign and malignant (harmless and cancerous) conditions can increase the CEA level. The most frequent cancer which causes an increased CEA is cancer of the colon and rectum. Others include cancers of the pancreas, stomach, breast, lung, and certain types of thyroid and ovarian cancer. Benign conditions which can elevate CEA include smoking, infections, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, and some benign tumors in the same organs in which an elevated CEA indicates cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause a temporary rise in CEA due to the death of tumor cells and release of CEA into the blood stream. Benign disease does not usually cause an increase above 10 ng/ml.



annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2528
Joined: Oct 2011

take a look at this:


An interesting study out of England that may give some hope.

Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

Thanks to Karen and Anna for the articles. I am just finished with treatment 5 of 12 on Xeloda and oxaliplatin and my CEA is of the steadily rising sort so far. The one article said a spike and then a drop was better than steadily rising. Guess I can hope that it will be lower next time, but it is worrying me.


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