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CEA question??? Does this mean anything????

KierstenRx's picture
Posts: 249
Joined: Nov 2006

Help, I am a little confused on the meaning of my CEA results. I am 32 and was diagnosed on September 18th. My first CEA result 11.85. I started radiation and chemo on October 23. The Dr. drew another CEA on November 15 and it was 6.85. I finished treatments on December 1 and that CEA came back as a 2.1. I am having surgery at the end of January. However, no one has told me what these results mean. Is the tumor shrinking???? Is it gone???? or does this mean nothing???? Thank you for your help.

katienavs's picture
Posts: 88
Joined: Nov 2006

i think this is wonderful news! it definitely means something! i know the actual cea number isn't a great diagnostic tool for everyone because some can have an advanced stage with a low cea but tracking whether the number goes up or down is helpful.
my cea went from 249 to 133 to 56 to 3.4 to 0.9 and when it was 3.4 the primary tumor that had been radiated was 100% gone.
i think your downward trend is a good indication that the radiation and chemo have shrunk the tumor, hopefully completely!

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

it likely means that your tumors are not producing whatever it is that elevates the CEA, and that is usually good news.. Scans should confirm this in a lack of growth/shrinkage of your tumor-(s)
Your doctor should be answering your questions-obviously he-she is not..jump up and down on his/her desk until they answer your questions in terms you can understand. Take someone with you on your next visit to make sure you are not missing anything. Call/write your doctor until you get an answer.. bud

Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2006

cea is not a good diagnostic test but we all seem to want to hold on to those numbers. the fact they are dropping is great news though. i am extremely happy to hear this for you. sounds like your body is responding well to the chemo and radiation. keep fighting the fight and you will come out on top. god bless and happy holidays to you and your family.

hugs lynn

Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Kiersten -

CEA doesn't mean that much in an absolute sense - however steadily decreasing CEA is most likely good news. You should be bombarding your doctor with these questions and making sure he/she gives you answers.

Good luck with the surgery.

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

The CEA is not a real accurate test but is a marker for tumor activity for some people. My CEA was never above 1 even with a recurrance. The fact that yours is decreasing is good news.


lfondots63's picture
Posts: 822
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi Kiersten,

I guess you got the gist of our posts. I agree. I also like Bud's idea of "jumping up and down" on your docs desk until he answers. Unfortunately sometimes we have to rant and rave until they give us what we want. Congrats on the decreasing CEA and sending good vibes for your sugery.

Lisa F.

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