If the CEA is down does that mean your cancer is shrinking?

r2424243 Member Posts: 51
My dads got non operatable stage 4 colon cancer with mets to liver. His CEA went from 121 to 7. Doc says this is good. does it mean the cancer is almost gone? We have beeen told it will not go away. Incurable, whatever. He is 61 years old. He is still very sick though. He has this pain in his left side that is so severe. He also constantly has an urge to have a bm. even after he does. He goes potty every morning like clockwork. He is on 150 mg fentynol patch, 40 mg time release oxycotin, and 5 mg oxycodone for breakthru pain and just cant get the pain under control. he is going for a cat scan next week ordered by his gp. the onc says it cant be the cancer but it all started when he started chemo 6 months ago. Any clue anyone?


  • PGLGreg
    PGLGreg Member Posts: 731
    no real clue
    The lowered CEA is a good sign, but I guess you know that. I think it is possible that the cancer is in retreat, despite the fact you were told it is incurable, because some patients respond unexpectedly well to chemotherapy. I'm just another cancer patient, so I have no means to estimate how likely it is. I'm sorry about the pain he's in --- I've heard that painkillers may cause constipation, so the urge to have a bm might be connected with the oxicodone, fentonyl, etc.

    Best wishes,
  • Sonia32
    Sonia32 Member Posts: 1,071 Member
    Cea is a good indicator for some, for others it isn't. It does sound good that your dad's level has dropped, but only a scan will provide information on how well he is doing fully.

    For constipation, you probably already know this apologise if I repeat it. But please try and keep his fluid intake high, increased fiber, if he can't eat maybe something like fiber gel, if he's allowed that.

    Sending you and your dad best wishes and hugs.