CEA Rise, what does it mean

Options
papajedi
papajedi Member Posts: 110
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
My CEA number was 2 when I finished chemo in december. It stayed at 2 in January but went to 3 Feb and now is 4.1 What the heck is going on ? My scan two months ago was fine, very good in fact. I have another one saturday but am freaked out.

Comments

  • dianetavegia
    dianetavegia Member Posts: 1,942 Member
    Options
    Robert
    Did the lab change testing methods? Do you smoke? Have you had a lung infection?

    Some labs have switched to a new test and the 'norms' vary quite a bit.
  • pamness
    pamness Member Posts: 524 Member
    Options
    Odd CEA results
    I haven't been on this site for quite awhile. I am almost 3 years out of treatment and currently ned. I can relate to you CEA question. My CEA was 3.2 when I was diagnosed, in the mid 2's during treatment. About a year after treatment mine went from the low 3's to 4.4 - in I went for a CT - all was fine - my next two CEA's were 4.4. , three months ago, I had a CT and CEA (routine) and my CEA was 2.3. Last week - 3 months later my CEA was 5.2 - went for another scan - all clear.

    Apprently, about 5 percent of the population have CEA's that fluctuate oddly and have nothing to do with recurring cancer. I go to MGH, my onocologist has two other patients like me whose CEA levels fluctuate constantly. My doctor's feeling is that unless it were to go up above 10 - we will stop scanning everytime it does something odd. I have already had 10 scans since diagnosis.

    I am getting comfortable with this ambiguity. Something that isn't easy for me.

    I was dianosed Stage3A - two positive lymph nodes.

    I understand being freaked out, but talk to your oncologist. The CT scan is the "golden standard" I am told and a clean scan two months ago is a good thing.

    Good luck
  • pamness
    pamness Member Posts: 524 Member
    Options
    Odd CEA results
    I haven't been on this site for quite awhile. I am almost 3 years out of treatment and currently ned. I can relate to you CEA question. My CEA was 3.2 when I was diagnosed, in the mid 2's during treatment. About a year after treatment mine went from the low 3's to 4.4 - in I went for a CT - all was fine - my next two CEA's were 4.4. , three months ago, I had a CT and CEA (routine) and my CEA was 2.3. Last week - 3 months later my CEA was 5.2 - went for another scan - all clear.

    Apprently, about 5 percent of the population have CEA's that fluctuate oddly and have nothing to do with recurring cancer. I go to MGH, my onocologist has two other patients like me whose CEA levels fluctuate constantly. My doctor's feeling is that unless it were to go up above 10 - we will stop scanning everytime it does something odd. I have already had 10 scans since diagnosis.

    I am getting comfortable with this ambiguity. Something that isn't easy for me.

    I was dianosed Stage3A - two positive lymph nodes.

    I understand being freaked out, but talk to your oncologist. The CT scan is the "golden standard" I am told and a clean scan two months ago is a good thing.

    Good luck
  • Buzzard
    Buzzard Member Posts: 3,043 Member
    Options
    pamness said:

    Odd CEA results
    I haven't been on this site for quite awhile. I am almost 3 years out of treatment and currently ned. I can relate to you CEA question. My CEA was 3.2 when I was diagnosed, in the mid 2's during treatment. About a year after treatment mine went from the low 3's to 4.4 - in I went for a CT - all was fine - my next two CEA's were 4.4. , three months ago, I had a CT and CEA (routine) and my CEA was 2.3. Last week - 3 months later my CEA was 5.2 - went for another scan - all clear.

    Apprently, about 5 percent of the population have CEA's that fluctuate oddly and have nothing to do with recurring cancer. I go to MGH, my onocologist has two other patients like me whose CEA levels fluctuate constantly. My doctor's feeling is that unless it were to go up above 10 - we will stop scanning everytime it does something odd. I have already had 10 scans since diagnosis.

    I am getting comfortable with this ambiguity. Something that isn't easy for me.

    I was dianosed Stage3A - two positive lymph nodes.

    I understand being freaked out, but talk to your oncologist. The CT scan is the "golden standard" I am told and a clean scan two months ago is a good thing.

    Good luck

    Same here............
    My CEA went from less than zero (however that happened) to 1.3 then 1.9 then 2 the last time. My doc have not scanned me since surgery, glad of it also. but my CEA is staying down. He says that unless it shoots up like tripling or so then there is no need for other scans ...He also watches and tests every 3 months for all blood work , enzyme increases, etc that could signify other problems arising. So far so Good....so if its slightly raising don't worry be happy , it will fluctuate dependant on a lot of variables but if it takes off then maybe be a little more diligent in getting checked out....Buzz
  • papajedi
    papajedi Member Posts: 110
    Options
    Buzzard said:

    Same here............
    My CEA went from less than zero (however that happened) to 1.3 then 1.9 then 2 the last time. My doc have not scanned me since surgery, glad of it also. but my CEA is staying down. He says that unless it shoots up like tripling or so then there is no need for other scans ...He also watches and tests every 3 months for all blood work , enzyme increases, etc that could signify other problems arising. So far so Good....so if its slightly raising don't worry be happy , it will fluctuate dependant on a lot of variables but if it takes off then maybe be a little more diligent in getting checked out....Buzz

    Pneumonia
    Turns out I have pneumonia, probably have had for two months. Would this have an impact you think on CEA ?
  • dianetavegia
    dianetavegia Member Posts: 1,942 Member
    Options
    papajedi said:

    Pneumonia
    Turns out I have pneumonia, probably have had for two months. Would this have an impact you think on CEA ?

    Yes Robert
    CEACEA may be elevated in patients with cirrhosis, hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic lung disease, pancreatitis and pneumonia, with elevations seen in 20-50% of cases
  • jewablejack
    jewablejack Member Posts: 1
    Options
    Rise in CEA results

    I have colon cancer, stage 4, and have had 7 treatments now, bi-weekly,  My numbers had come down rather drasticly from 1953 to 878 in the first 5 treatments.  The last two showed an icrease from 878 to 979, then yesterday from 979 to 1290.  Can anyone relate to this.  I am going to have another PET scan on the 28th of February to see what is going on.  I have had very little side effect issues since the start.  Only tireness.  I still feel the same, active, etc. even with the rise in tumer markers.  Thanks, for your comment.

    John

  • Twinzma
    Twinzma Member Posts: 236 Member
    Options
    Hope you get an answer!

    SAME thing with my husband, but just finished 4th. It's freaking us both out. He got his scan yesterday and we find out tomorrow. I am a trainwreck over it. He's gaining weight, looks great, feels fine except day of chemo and the Folfox is not too harsh on him where I have read it could be tortuorous. After his 1st treatment his CEA dropped by half. 

    Its only been a short journey so far for both of you, and as with any trip there will always be that damn bump in the road. Be positive, stay calm, don't drink or smoke...that can raise your CEA levels. 

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
    Options
    Ah, that CEA

    it causes such heartache. 

    While it CAN be a bad sign - it was for me, when mine started jumping higher - for others, it makes no difference.  

    At the end of the day, nothing anyone can say to you will make you less worried. Its the nature of the (Cancer) game. 

    All I can do is wish you the best and hope that the Oncologist is on the ball and sorts things out. 

    Tru

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,742 Member
    Options
    Very Old Post

    I'm sorry to hear of the rise in CEA but that can be caused by different things including treatment.  This is a really old post, so it might be good if you start a  new one.  Wishing you well.

    Kim