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I'm back and a bit worried...

theresa8's picture
Posts: 61
Joined: Dec 2009

Hello everyone,
Ever since my husband's surgery to remove his colostomy bag back in September 2010 everything was going GREAT. Absolutely no problems.
After going through rectal cancer in October 2009 we had every reason to enjoy life. We just got back from the oncologist's office and he is concerned that his CEA level has risen from 4,1 to 7,1 in three months. When his cancer was discovered he only had a CEA of 3,1.
He's been having issues with his hip and will be needing a hip replacement. Can the inflammation in his hip be the cause of this rise, he's been taking a lot of anti inflammatory pills and Tylenol to help with the pain. I'm so afraid of a recurrence
The doctor ordered a scan but it'll have to wait until Nov. 8 and we'll see him for results on Nov.9. He might then order a CT Scan if he is not satisfied with the results. We were planning to leave for Florida for a month on Nov 20. So afraid our holiday will go down the drain. Have any of you ever experience a rise of CEA not related to cancer recurrence. Positive and negative experiences welcomed.

John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

The CEA marker is only one of many "markers" that have to be
evaluated together for diagnostics. One marker alone is useless
for a diagnosis.

And yes, inflammation.... and other medications to stifle inflammation,
can raise the CEA numbers.

Relax and try to enjoy life; anxiety never pays dividends.

Best wishes to you both,


theresa8's picture
Posts: 61
Joined: Dec 2009

Thank you for your post. You're right, all the other tests were good. The only upsetting score is this 7,1 CEA.
Hoping all is well but two weeks prior to scan is a long time.

idlehunters's picture
Posts: 1792
Joined: Apr 2009

I have had CEA rise several points at a time and it was because of pneumonia and inflammation. When those got better...CEA dropped. Onc told me that if CEA got above 10 then you could pretty well rule anything else out but recurrance. However....under 10 could be for numerous reasons.... thats why you need the scans and such for more reference. Please keep us informed and you take care.


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