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Just need to talk

Posts: 12
Joined: Dec 2001

I feel like I'm intruding on the wrong message board but this is by far the most active one. I'm 26 and have colon cancer that spread to the liver. I had a bowel resection December 10 and I will be starting chemo the 8th. I saw the oncologist for the first time today and my CEA level was 361. Can anybody give me a comparison number? I have no clue how good or bad it is.
I have a wonderful family and support system but I just need to chat with someone who has been through surgery and chemo. I really have no idea what to expect and the local support group doesn't meet until the 16th.

Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

www.acscsn.org/Talk_Shows_and_Stories/After_Treatment_and_Beyond/ Colon_F_-50_After.html

Hi Hege,

Glad you stopped in on this board. As a retired librarian I'm always trying to find answers - still - for people.

I was not successful finding anything on specific numbers for CEA but found the above from 'google.com' and think you will find some of these discussions helpful.

Click on the - colon cancer - female under 50 and there are quite a few interviews. If you have trouble copying and pasting the above link into your browser, let me know and I'll try a different way to get you there.

My very best wishes for successful treatment,

Posts: 292
Joined: Oct 2000

HI there, I wish I had some words of advice for you, but I dont. All I can say is to stand up and take control of this thing and fight dirty if you must!! My cancer originated in the breast and went to the liver, but I am only 32 with a loving family and friends, and I sure as hell am not going to allow this cancer crap to interfere with my life!!! Sleep after chemo, then get up and enjoy your days. I had 23 consecutive months of chemo, none of it working, so now I am taking the fu-- attitude towards it, not worrying, just enjoying my life, my very long life to be. Stand up and say piss on statistics, this is me and I will beat this. Trust me, it works!!!! I'm still here!!!

hugs from Tiger

Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

Hi again

Reworded my question - I think better in the wee hours of the morning. Here's your answer - of course your results are high because you have cancer - don't concern yourself too much with that now - after chemo, the situation should change. Ask questions of your doctor just as you did here. Good Luck!I hope you find some confort in the support group.

Test, CEA: CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) is a protein found in many types of cells but associated with tumors and the developing fetus.

CEA is tested in blood. The normal range is

Benign conditions that can increase CEA include smoking, infection, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, and some benign tumors (in the same organs which have cancers with increased CEA). Benign disease does not usually cause a CEA increase over 10 ng/ml.

The main use of CEA is as a tumor marker, especially with intestinal cancer. The most common cancers that elevate CEA are in the colon and rectum. Others: cancer of the pancreas, stomach, breast, lung, and certain types of thyroid and ovarian cancer. Levels over 20 ng/ml before therapy are associated with cancer which has already metastasized (spread).

CEA is useful in monitoring the treatment of CEA-rich tumors. If the CEA is high before treatment, it should fall to normal after successful therapy. A rising CEA level indicates progression or recurrence of the cancer. (Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can themselves cause a rise in CEA due to death of tumor cells and release of CEA into the blood stream but that rise is typically temporary).

"Carcinoembryonic" reflects the fact that CEA is made by some cancers ("carcino-") and by the developing fetus ("-embryonic").

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Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2003

I was told that I had breast cancer in 1994,9 years ago. Went through the mastectomy, chemotherapy and all of that. Now 9 years later I discover that I have recurrent cancer in the same breast. I have undergone 4 weeks of a 6 and 1/2 week radiation therapy session. I am feeling tired, worn out, wondering why me, wondering how this happened, wondering why it happened again. I don't mean to sound so down, but sometimes it really seems so unfair, yet I know that there people out there who have a far harder road to go than me. I was a registered nurse for 30 years and thought that I had done most of the right lifestyle things. I know that this past 9 years has been a gift to me, and I have 6 beautiful granchildren that I might not have been able to see or to be a part of their lives. I can't help but feel sometimes though I don't know how much more I can take. Because in addition to the cancer I have all kinds of heart problems and sometimes it seems so overwhelming. Thanks for listening.

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2003

I was told that i has colon cancer on Nov 4 2002.
I've worked for AFLAC for 20 year. The one with the DUCK. I don't smoke or drink. I've handled cancer claims for 20yrs. My outlook is their is always someone else worse off then me. I started treatment in Feb 1 week 5 treatments in a week. Then i'm off for three weeks

Posts: 58
Joined: Jun 2001

Hi there Hege,
Im glad you posted on this board now im not the only non breast cancer person here. I think you will find the people here are most helpful and very caring about what the other individual. Cancer is something we ALL have to fight and its much easier when your not alone. Its not limited to one type fix all.
Keep us posted hun.... I wish you wellness.


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