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CEA Question

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

What is normal for a CEA level? I understood it was 3 and under. My doctor just called to say that mine is now down to 5.4 and that 5 and under are normal. I just Googled it and can't seem to find the answer. Can someone please tell me if I'm wrong? I'd love to be only .4 away from normal!

Thanks!

Jan

lhduffer
Posts: 71
Joined: Oct 2015

Typically anything 5 or under is considered normal by the standards of the test I am given.  Congrats on your level continuing to drop.  You so deserve some great news!

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Thank you! I now realize I've been telling everybody that 3 and under is normal so I've been giving the wrong information. Dang!

Jan

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 992
Joined: Aug 2013

I always heard 1-5 is the basic normal range, that does put you darn close...............................................Dave

Butt's picture
Butt
Posts: 299
Joined: May 2018

Under 5 or 6. Depends on the level. Unfortunately even a normal CEA doesn’t mean there is no cancer....

myAZmountain
Posts: 256
Joined: Apr 2018

Done on February 6, The parameters the lab used for normal was 0-3.   Guess it depends on the lab?

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 2094
Joined: Mar 2010

Sloan Kettering considers <5 to be normal; you can't compare CEAs done at different labs.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4826
Joined: Jan 2013

I was also told 3 and under, so don't worry about giving out the wrong information.  You know that you can go to one Oncologist and hear one thing, and another Oncologist and get a different answer. 

And congratulatoins on getting down to 5, considering what you have been through across the years, I think that is worth celebrating. 

Tru

Butt's picture
Butt
Posts: 299
Joined: May 2018

i had a recurrance with a CEA level 6. 5.?My initial one was 2200. We thought it was very sensitive good indicator to me. A month before the scans I was 1.7 and 2 months before 1.2.

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

5 and under is normal but you are so close to normal.  Many things can influence the number too so you are doing great.

Kim

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Thanks everyone! Okay, so I don't feel like such a dummy. Cancer is serious business and I don't want to give out false information, even if it's just about the CEA level.

Butt, I know it doesn't mean it's gone. The odds of mine ever being gone are nil but it still is a great level. I'm really hoping it got the biggest tumour this time. And matbe some of the really little ones are gone? 

What I find so empowering about this immunotherapy treatment is that it tells my body to go after the vancer and targets it for my immune system. It's empowering to know that my own body is what has killed off a bunch of cancer cells. I did it myself! I've been so angry with my body for having this to start with and now I'm proud of it. This feels so awesome!

Jan 

Lily Flower's picture
Lily Flower
Posts: 253
Joined: Jul 2017

Hip hip hooray! As we ALL know it doesn't mean it's gone but in your case it IS a big deal. You have come a long way. I"m so happy for you! 

8colon8's picture
8colon8
Posts: 41
Joined: Jan 2019

Jan

Congratulation on the great CEA result.  My wife's oncologist told us that 2 and under is good. Her CEA report showed standard range to be under 5. All this time we were praying for it to be under 2, when it has already came under 5 from the last 3 tests (4.9, 2.9, and 2.8). Shows how lost we can get when over focusing...lol 

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Those are great numbers! Good for her!! Give her a congratulatory hug for me, please!

Jan

8colon8's picture
8colon8
Posts: 41
Joined: Jan 2019

Wink

Butt's picture
Butt
Posts: 299
Joined: May 2018

CEA is used in most cases to see if chemo is working. Low CEA doesn’t mean the cancer is out. I was told CEA may start rising usually a few months before the scan can pick cancer in either newly diagnosed or in a position of recurrance. It definitely wasn t my case, again my CEA was around 2200 when the treatments got started. We believed it was very sensitive for me but it wasn t the case. Butt.

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1721
Joined: Nov 2001

Under 6 was considerred normal. with stage3c cancer into 6nodes My cea at the time was 1.6. With very few exceptions since then it has remained at less than 0.5. My surgeon always said that the sharp rises and falls were of more importance than the number. Congratulations on the drop to 5.4. Ron.

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1254
Joined: Jul 2005

There are 2 different CEA tests now.  They use different reagents, so their range of "normal" values is different.  The older Siemens/Bayer method (still the most commonly used I think) defines normal as <3.0 for non-smokers.  The newer Roche method has a higher normal range - I think it is <5.0 for non-smokers.

Finding out the method your Lab uses (it should show range on Lab report) should help you interpret the result.  If the Roche method was used, then 5.4 is, I think, within the noise range of normal.  If the other method was used, then there is an increase, but I'm guessing it is not that significant.  You should ask your onc about this.

 

Take care,

Betsy

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