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Avastin/5 Flu Treatment/cea level

Posts: 100
Joined: Mar 2004

My dad is currently on avastin/5 flu. He has been on treatment since november for recurrence in his liver. His cea went from 189 to 180 to 100 to 65 to 57. Now, it is 59. The doctor does not seem concerned. He says that we will continue with this treatment. He has another cea test in April. As of right now, he will stay on this treatmetn till June. Take a break (3 weeks) and have a pet scan in July. I am nervous about this. Has anyone experienced this cea rollercoaster with avastin? Any insight is welcomed.

alta29's picture
Posts: 435
Joined: Mar 2005

we all do...is not a significant change at all...the great thing is that it has dropped from 189 to 59....awsome !

Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Hi. I wouldn't be concerned over the slight rise. I agree the drop from 189 to 59 is awesome. CEA is not the best marker for all. Also , I actually read somewhere that cea sometimes rises when meds are working as they kill cancer cells. so I would not be concerned at all about a 2 point rise as your dad's oncologist stated . God Bless and best wishes for an all clear scan for your dad in July.

katefm's picture
Posts: 112
Joined: Oct 2006

We've been on the CEA rollercoaster. It's tough. Even though you know logically that you're not supposed to pin hope to that number, emotionally, it seems like a sign of progress.

FYI - Jim's CEA recently rose slightly, as your father's did, and that's when we found out that his largest tumor is actually liquefying. CEA can rise as tumors break apart and cancer cells enter the bloodstream. It has been proven with breast cancer that there's actually an increase in CEA before tumor shrinkage.

Keep the faith, and hang on to the practical advice that the CEA is just one teensy piece of the puzzle. Your Dad is in my prayers.


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