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Should I be concerned?

keystone's picture
keystone
Posts: 134
Joined: Dec 2010

Sitting in physicians office waiting on surgical clearance papers for iliostomy reversal Friday. Tomorrow PET scan and other tests for surgery. Phils only had 2 CEA tests since diagnoses and both were very low ( .7 and .9) today his CEA is 1.1 which I know is still very low but it has changed. He finished chemo almost 4 weeks ago. Just nervous because his oncologist does not scan regularly. We will probably change oncologist soon. He did have a CT after his liver enzymes were up a month ago it, along with the chest x-Ray was fine. Oh dear I just wish I could calm down! Thanks fir listening I appreciate it!! Stephanie

tommycat's picture
tommycat
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

Your feelings are completely normal. Your husband will get complete labs done before the reversal and if anything looks iffy, the surgeon will reconsider the reversal for now.
Try to think good thoughts and do what you can to relax yourself. When I was feeling anxious I would tell myself "months for years," meaning that the trade-off in having a couple crummy months was worth it, to have many more glorious years ahead of me.
Thinking of you~

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

and from what I remember, a post-chemo increase in CEA is not uncommon. As the cancerous cells die off, they dump the substance that is being measured by the CEA test (a protein? I think-not sure thanks to chemo brain!) into the blood stream, causing numbers to go up for a period of time after chemo is done. Hopefully, this will be the case for your husband, and it's a sign that the chemo has done its job! Take care, Ann

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6179
Joined: Feb 2009

It can be alarming but that is just a very minor jump and chemo can do that or a lot of factors for that matter. Everyone's CEA rises, you can take it at 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and it will be different. If your oncologist isn't concerned, then that small jump shouldn't be so alarming. Focus on the reversal - that is a good thing :)

Kim

pepebcn's picture
pepebcn
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

CEA levels ! Just stay calm don't see any major problem on the results to be concern about!.
Hugs and keep calm everything is going to be fine!

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

Here is a good link for information on CEA levels:

CEA Explanation

A quick synopsis:

Normal for a non-smoker is about 2.5, so your hubby is still well in the normal range. Generally, when there is no visible metastasis, anything below 10 is first considered to be caused by something benign, such as irritable bowel or inflammation. Above 10 there is concern about cancer and above 20 cancer is the most likely cause.

Results can change for various reasons, including who ran the test, and what protocol they use. I remember reading somewhere that several labs switched from one protocol to another, without informing their clients (the oncologist). It led to more than a few misinterpretations of the data.

My personal thought is you have no reason to be concerned, but you should mention it to his oncologist just to help ease your nerves (and because I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on these forums).

Hope this helps,

Blake

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2117
Joined: Oct 2009

Don't let your nerves get the best of you. As a caregiver myself, I know it is difficult, you mind goes in so many directions. A CEA of 1.1 is really quite low.

Please give Ray our best wishes for a successful surgical outcome.

Take care = Tina

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