hummm CEA elevated....UPDATE

Options
Patteee
Patteee Member Posts: 945
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
I have been patiently waiting on my CEA level that was drawn last Wednesday.
The last one in April was like .05
CT scan in late June was clear
This one last week- the nurse just called me, was a 2.6
I know below 3 is within the "normal" range

But should I be concerned that it was that much elevated since the last one?

She is going to talk to the onc and call me back, about what I don't actually know....



Wed. 5pm

Just talked to my oncologist. He wants to do the CEA again mid-Nov. He said this could be "random fluctuations of a normal value". Yeah, well. Not going to worry about it at this point. Thanks for your posts!

Comments

  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
    Options
    CEA
    Pattee

    Actually 0-3 is normal for non smokers.
    3-6 is normal for smokers.

    This is a puzzler - you're still in the normal range - maybe it's something that they want to watch and make you aware of.

    I'll be hoping that it's nothing more than that.

    Thanks for your post last night :)

    -Craig
  • Patteee
    Patteee Member Posts: 945
    Options
    Sundanceh said:

    CEA
    Pattee

    Actually 0-3 is normal for non smokers.
    3-6 is normal for smokers.

    This is a puzzler - you're still in the normal range - maybe it's something that they want to watch and make you aware of.

    I'll be hoping that it's nothing more than that.

    Thanks for your post last night :)

    -Craig

    strange on different
    strange on different values/meaning of those values depending on where you look:

    What is the normal range for CEA blood levels?

    The normal range for CEA in an adult non-smoker is <2.5 ng/ml and for a smoker <5.0 ng/ml.

    Last week my onc didn't even want to see me for 6 more months- which I think since I finished chemo in Jan seems a bit hasty.

    The nurse did say something about "lab error"- which to me seems like a brush off-
  • Patteee
    Patteee Member Posts: 945
    Options
    Sundanceh said:

    CEA
    Pattee

    Actually 0-3 is normal for non smokers.
    3-6 is normal for smokers.

    This is a puzzler - you're still in the normal range - maybe it's something that they want to watch and make you aware of.

    I'll be hoping that it's nothing more than that.

    Thanks for your post last night :)

    -Craig

    Craig- I so appreciated your
    Craig- I so appreciated your post last night. I hope you know we are all here for you, pulling for you and only praying for the best outcomes. In addition, your openness and willingness to put yourself right out there, only has positive benefits on all of us. And Craig, if there is one thing I have learned about having cancer, "if I have to have it, let my experience teach others the message of determination to live life to its fullest and to never give up hope". And you , my friend, in your struggles are doing just that. And that is what I thank you for :)
  • mommyof2kds
    mommyof2kds Member Posts: 519
    Options
    Patteee said:

    Craig- I so appreciated your
    Craig- I so appreciated your post last night. I hope you know we are all here for you, pulling for you and only praying for the best outcomes. In addition, your openness and willingness to put yourself right out there, only has positive benefits on all of us. And Craig, if there is one thing I have learned about having cancer, "if I have to have it, let my experience teach others the message of determination to live life to its fullest and to never give up hope". And you , my friend, in your struggles are doing just that. And that is what I thank you for :)

    My doc doesn't even do the
    My doc doesn't even do the CEA levels, he said they were not really accurate.. Is it just doctors preference..?
  • lisa42
    lisa42 Member Posts: 3,625 Member
    Options
    just watch it
    Hi Pattee,

    2.6 is definitely still within the normal range, so I certainly wouldn't panic. I do know and understand the feeling, however. I had the same concern back in May myself- mine kept creeping up until it was 4.2 and I did recently have a scan that showed more activity. With that said, however, please don't panic- there are many reasons it could be going up. Some people's CEA is way high when nothing can be found, and I've heard some people have cancerous activity when their CEA still shows as normal. So- I think the key is to know how good of an indicator CEA is for YOU, as it is not a good indicator for everyone. Do you know if it's been a good indicator in the past of your cancerous activity levels? It really doesn't matter how high (I've heard of some outrageously high and it doesn't always seem to mean that their cancer is that much worse than someone else who might have slightly above normal). Also, any little infection, fever, cold, flu, etc. is enough to make the CEA rise, so I've been told. If you've been sick at all lately- even slightly- that could be the reason for the slight rise. Again, it's still within normal limits, so no alarm bells should be going off yet. What I would do, however, is make sure to ask for a CEA level to be tested at least once a month, or more often if you had been sick near the time when you were tested.

    Take care,
    Lisa
  • lisa42
    lisa42 Member Posts: 3,625 Member
    Options

    My doc doesn't even do the
    My doc doesn't even do the CEA levels, he said they were not really accurate.. Is it just doctors preference..?

    testing CEA is standard
    I learned about a year ago that it is standard treatment to test CEA levels monthly. My former onc did not test mine and I requested it to be done after I heard so many people on this board talk about it. It isn't always a good indicator for everyone, so that's probably what your Dr. means. But, I think it's kind of negligent to just say they're not accurate and not test it in anyone. It IS a good indicator for me, I've discovered- every time mine has gone above normal, it has been for the reason that I've had activity going on- my PET lit up in various areas each time my CEA level was up. When my CEA tested normal, that's when my PET scan was clean. I'd still ask for it to be checked every 2-3 months at the least, if he's not wanting to test it. It's just one of the ways they can follow you up.
  • Sundanceh
    Sundanceh Member Posts: 4,392 Member
    Options
    Patteee said:

    Craig- I so appreciated your
    Craig- I so appreciated your post last night. I hope you know we are all here for you, pulling for you and only praying for the best outcomes. In addition, your openness and willingness to put yourself right out there, only has positive benefits on all of us. And Craig, if there is one thing I have learned about having cancer, "if I have to have it, let my experience teach others the message of determination to live life to its fullest and to never give up hope". And you , my friend, in your struggles are doing just that. And that is what I thank you for :)

    Many Thanks Pattee :)
    Well I thank you, Pattee

    I could tell from your 1st post last night, that I had left you flabbergasted - left you initially speechless. I don't open alot of posts, but when I do - Bang, Zoom!

    Anyway, thank you for this response - I thank you for your insightful comment on my willingness and openness to put myself out there...what a great observation :)

    My life can only have real meaning if I can share my experiences with others - in enriches my life and hopefully someone else's. By giving to all of you - YOU return that back to me with feelings of acceptance and real shared feelings - doesn't get any better than that, does it?

    You know when you were going out for your surgery, I made a mental note of it, and even though we had not spoken, I felt the need that morning to compose a prayer for both you and Donna, because you were both in surgery and I did not want either of you to be "alone" that day - even though both of you were unaware of it at that time :)

    But that was one of the most purest things I've ever done - and the love that poured back in from that post, still gets me choked up - it was just so magical.

    Anway, I'm watching out over you and want only the best for you. I really do the CEA is just a false alarm or a bad lab read or something. I think you're ok, but we'll see what the docs tell you.

    Thank you again
    -Craig
  • PhillieG
    PhillieG Member Posts: 4,866 Member
    Options
    CEA
    I spoke with a doctor about CE levels last week. He said that he has seen it go up or down 2 point in a day or two for no apparent reason. It's a very inaccurate test that many doctors would rather their patients not look at or have access to for the reason stated above. A raise in numbers can freak some patients out when it's either a totally normal occurrence or just a fluke of the test.

    I would really not be concerned about it if I were you.
    -phil
  • bdee
    bdee Member Posts: 304
    Options
    CEA
    I'm not a smoker and never been a smoker, but my onc won't do another PET scan until my CEA is at 5 or over. It has been slowly going up month by month and that makes it kind of scary to me. Right after my surgery and before chemo it was 1.9, now seven months later it is 3.4. I know that isn't high, but I know from my CT Scans that four of my seven tumors have enlarged with 1 staying the same and 2 getting smaller.

    Debbie
  • Patteee
    Patteee Member Posts: 945
    Options
    bdee said:

    CEA
    I'm not a smoker and never been a smoker, but my onc won't do another PET scan until my CEA is at 5 or over. It has been slowly going up month by month and that makes it kind of scary to me. Right after my surgery and before chemo it was 1.9, now seven months later it is 3.4. I know that isn't high, but I know from my CT Scans that four of my seven tumors have enlarged with 1 staying the same and 2 getting smaller.

    Debbie

    thought by
    updating my initial comment, see above, that would boot this up as a new comment, guess I was wrong !