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CEA Levels

wawaju04976's picture
wawaju04976
Posts: 316
Joined: Dec 2012

Today I got a printout of my bloodwork from the time got sick until now. They go as follows...

Nov. 24th (admitted to hospital)      0.9

Dec. 13th (first chemo tx)               2.7

Jan, 11th (third chemo tx)              3. 9

Jan. 28th (fourth chemo tx)            2.8

Feb. 8th (fifth chemo tx)                3.1

 

I'm not sure what CA125 Tumor Marker is, but those counts were as follows:

Dec. 28th (2nd chemo tx)         22.8

Jan. 11th (3rd chemo tx)          13.9

 

Are these numbers bad (my CEA reading went from 2.8 to 3.1 in two weeks)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PatchAdams
Posts: 272
Joined: Nov 2011

There's a Chemist with a Phd on colon club who tests his own blood weekly. He does two tests from the same vial of blood using the Siemen's test.  He posted that every week the two results vary by .4 to .5 without fail. Sometimes even more.  

What is normal for your lab?  My insurance company demands my CEA be done at a specific lab and that lab has a high normal for a non smoker of 3.9.  

 

Here's something I found a few years ago.  Since this is older info, I assume it's based on the original testing methods which said 2.5 was 'normal'. 

Most normal persons have detectable concentrations of circulating CEA. Approximately 85% of adults have CEA levels less than 2.5 ng/mL, while 95% have levels less than 5.0 ng/mL. CEA levels are slightly higher in men than women. The median level is 3.4 ng/mL in men and 2.5 ug/mL in women. Healthy persons seldom have levels above 10 ng/mL.

What is the normal range for CA 125?

The normal values for CA 125 may vary slightly among individual laboratories. In most laboratories, the normal value is less than 35 U /ml.  

What is CA 125?

CA 125 is a protein that is a so-called tumor marker or biomarker, which is a substance that is found in greater concentration in tumor cells than in other cells of the body. In particular, CA 125 is present in greater concentration inovarian cancer cells than in other cells. It was first identified in the early 1980s, and the function of the CA 125 protein is not currently understood. CA stands for cancer antigen.

wawaju04976's picture
wawaju04976
Posts: 316
Joined: Dec 2012

Thank you, Patch. I have never asked about my CEA levels, and the doctor has never expressed concern about any of my blood results. The range this hospital has is 0.0-2.5 ng/mL  . What does ng mean?

Judy

tachilders's picture
tachilders
Posts: 315
Joined: Jun 2012

nanograms

renw's picture
renw
Posts: 282
Joined: Jan 2013

Would love to have your CEA. :). My last test was a little over 2400.

wawaju04976's picture
wawaju04976
Posts: 316
Joined: Dec 2012

I'm so sorry. I get concerned if they go up. I know some people's goes so high. Here's hoping and praying yours will head in the other direction!!!

Judy

tachilders's picture
tachilders
Posts: 315
Joined: Jun 2012

As posted below, "normal" CEA levels can range up to 2.5-3.5 ng/ml, so you are barely above baseline.  I think CEA can rise a bit during chemo treatments, but your levels are so low that the small differences you are seeing probably don't mean anything.  When I was diagnosed (stage 4, mets everywhere), my CEA was 5.7 which was low enough that my oncologist here (and my onc at Northwestern) both agreed that it wasn't worth tracking the level, since it shouldn't get worse than it was at diagnosis, and that level was quite low considering my condition.  My onc here said the CEA for many stage 4 people is in the hundreds or thousands at diagnosis.  Some colon cancers just don't make CEA.

Tedd

wawaju04976's picture
wawaju04976
Posts: 316
Joined: Dec 2012

Thank you for the helpful information!!!

Judy

Fucc
Posts: 92
Joined: Sep 2012

I am a stage iv a and have always had normal cea. However, my oncologist stll tracks it as it may change if I have a recurrance. Cea is a tricky thing. For some it is a great indicator and for others it is totally unreliable. When I found out that my cea was not a good indicator for me I was quite stressed about it. My oncologist didn't seem to blw worried and jokedsaying that it's good because my cea is low. I did quite a bit of research and found that generally cea is jot very reliable for most people. There are about 30 percent of people with cc who don't have elevated cea. The most reliable tool regarding recurrance, staging and prognosis are scans. To determine if cea is a good indicator, time will tell. Continue to monitor it. Even based on what you have provided it has been shown to fluctuate. Cea can fluctuate quite a bit throughout the day and can also rise when doing chemo. I have read that some oncologists don't track cea too much through chemo because there can be large fluctuations. Try to stay calm, and of course please speak to your medical team about any concerns.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4683
Joined: May 2005

CEA isn't always the best (or most accurate) method for measuring how one is doing. I know that my oncologist wishes that patients didn't have online access to that test since it can be very misleading.

Sometimes though, a person who's been in this for a long time can spot their own personal trends and then it may make some sense but even then, it's not that accurate.

To ME, your numbers are far from being alarming...
-phil

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