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stupid question....

alta29's picture
alta29
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

me again...
We always ask if when the CEA is raising does it means that the cancer is back...but....if the mark is under 3.5 and keeps going down...does it means that we "should" be cancer free ???? Or that the tumors are shrinking ???

vinny3's picture
vinny3
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

There is no such thing as a stupid question here. The CEA is an inexact measure which can be helpful in a supplementary way but does not give us solid information as to whether or not our cancer is gone or back. Mine has never been above 1 even when I had a recurrance. In general, it is not good if it is going up and is good if it is going down. But it doesn't tell us if the cancer is present or has disappeared. We have to rely on other tests such as the scans to give us more accurate information.

Dick

peacegift2002's picture
peacegift2002
Posts: 16
Joined: Apr 2004

NEVER a stupid question! From what I can tell, if the CEA is a good indicator for you (it is pretty accurate for me) going down means cancer free, and going up means the beast is coming back. But that has to be confirmed by the other tests. What you and your doc have to figure out is if the CEA is a relevant marker for you, and that comes with experience.

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