CEA rise--Other reasons? aside from cancer

plsletitrain Member Posts: 252 Member

I guess I just want to be in denial. lol.  My CEA went to 2.6 (which is still considered normal) but it has always been 1 something since diagnosis until chemo.  I just want to put the blame on any other reason, NOT cancer! Hehehe.  No seriously, what other factors, aside from cancer, that could cause a CEA rise?  I know it has been settled that CEA isn't really a good indicator for most people but I'm an extreme worrier, any change in my markers causes me to worry right away.  My next scan is around 3 months from now.


  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member

    Are you getting your blood drawn at a different facility or is your facility sending their blood samples to a different lab for testing? 

    My CEA jumped from 0.5 to 1.6 and I was so scared. Around about that time, someone posted abuot the two different CEA tests. One always tests higher than the other. I had changed from getting my blood work done at the local hospital ($557) to Lab Corp. Both use differnt testing methods. 

    It is awful when just a small jump causes us to fret. 

    I hope all is well. 


  • lhduffer
    lhduffer Member Posts: 90 Member

    As Tru mentioned, a change in facilities.  My surgeon even said that being around someone smoking could cause a rise in my CEA (the CEA for a smoker is normally higher).  I believe some  infections can cause a rise also.



  • plsletitrain
    plsletitrain Member Posts: 252 Member
    Its the same facility

    where I usually get my bloodwork.  I told my onco about it and he said its not something to be alarmed of.  I'll keep on praying that its just nothing. :(

  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,742 Member

    It is hard not to worry about a rise in CEA.  If you are in treatment a rise is usually always a given.  Mine, which was always .05 rose during my treatment.  It can happen because the cells are dying.  Many factors can contribute to it.  Most doctors don't rely on it because it is so inacurrate.  If you are getting a scan done soon then I'd rely on that first.  Thinking of you.


  • abrub
    abrub Member Posts: 2,174 Member
    CEA can rise from many things

    It's also important to recognize the Normal range as a normal range.  My CEA has bounced back and forth between 2 - 5.6, and has never meant anything.  A rise that is concerning would be a rise of 5-10 points or more.  Anything less than that is normal fluctations plus lab variability.  Note that inflammation not related to cancer can cause the CEA to rise.  Try to ignore this.  I know it's hard when you are looking for signs that indicate anything, but within the normal range, you have no cause for alarm.

    That said, my CEA was never indicative anyway.  When I had my recurrence, my CEA was still normal, in fact the lowest it had been.  The combination of scans, bloods, etc. tell your dr what is of concern.  Go back to breathing!