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CEA Levels

cheeks964's picture
cheeks964
Posts: 54
Joined: Nov 2011

Hello everyone, I'm new on the board. I had a colonoscopy a year ago, had a polyp, no concern they took it out, sent it out for biopsy like normal.. came back with some cancer in it, 8ml or some small amount. Went to a rectal doctor. He marked the spot by tatooing me and then went in and took surrounding area out, been going back every 3 months since september of 2010. My flexsig checkups have been fine, my cea level went up to 3 then doctor had me go in for a pet scan, that came back clear, then for a ct scan, came back clear then a intense mri, came back clear. went back in for 3 month check up everything clear in the flexsig in the rectum. so each time my cea went from 3 to 6 and 9 and now it's at 11.6, he is now sending me back for a ct scan. My flexsig was clear again. could there be any other reason why my cea levels are going up? vitamins, hormones, calcium?

Please advise if anyone is having any conditions like this. Oh and i feel great, no symptoms of anything.

Cheeks

mom_2_3
Posts: 965
Joined: Nov 2008

Cheeks,

I am not sure if it's entirely relevant to your situation but is there a reason that you have it had a colonscopy? I am guessing that it is possible that there could be a lesion in the colon higher than the flexsig can reach. I hate not reassuring you but I have not heard of a CEA being that high without some type of activity. Because the colon/intestines are jumbled and moving it is difficult to determine disease in the colon using only imaging techniques such as CT and MRI. I would insist on a full colonscopy. A family friend had his lesion missed 2 times as the dr performing the scope didn't go all the way to the cecum.

I am sorry you have this worry but you will find a number of caring and informed individuals here. Please keep us posted.

Amy

cheeks964's picture
cheeks964
Posts: 54
Joined: Nov 2011

Hello,

Thanks for the reply, i had no symptoms when i went in for my colonoscopy. I just went in because my insurance was ending and i wanted to have everything taken care of before it ended. Obgyn and mamogram and my doctor visit etc. So i had no symptoms and really no reason to go in. The colonoscopy doctor was shocked because he saw and took out the polyp and everything looked normal with the polyp, so he was shocked when the biopsy came back. I am scheduled for a ct scan on tuesday. This will be my second one since last year. If this comes back clear again, maybe that is a good idea to have another colonoscopy. My polyp was all the way at the end of my rectum. I had nothing all the way up my colon.

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1296
Joined: Oct 2010

That's a worrisome CEA, presumably they're worried about not missing some cancer lesion that lurks rather than clearly pops into view. My wife is stage IV, and she felt fine with a 1-2 inch cluster of para-aortic lymph nodes (distant mets) carried for an extra year because of a misreport.

Depending on whether the lung thingies are/were mets or not, wife is stage IVa or IVb. The things we did before her surgery were: followed much of the Life Extension protocol for colon cancer, then went some supplement steps beyond that, during the 4 weeks before surgery, and got a CA19-9 blood test (a cheap, useful, little known preliminary step in molecular targeting). More weeks pre-surgery could have been useful, and reduced risks further.

The results were that one area of mets were totally destroyed by a massive inflammatory immune response, the primary cancer with obstruction shrank, the surgery was uncomplicated, the recovery fast and a missed cluster of para-aortic lymph nodes failed to metastasize in a year. Prevention of further metastasis was key.

We give the credit to all the supplements with cimetidine as a neoadjuvant (pre-surgical) treatment that necrosed the potentially fatal metastatic spread, where the surgeon put in a handful of targets for radiation since the recently dead tissues still had their shape, and were not fully resectable.

cheeks964's picture
cheeks964
Posts: 54
Joined: Nov 2011

that's scary, why did she go in to get check in the first place. Did she have any reason to go in to the doctors. I'm scared and i feel fine. Very nerve racking. another posting stated i should get another colonoscopy. But mine was in my rectum. How else can they find anything if i do all these tests. The mri i went to was this highly intense one that sees everything. I don't understand why they can't find anything.

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1296
Joined: Oct 2010

... false positives [are] associated with emphysema, alcoholism, ulcerative colitis, ileitis, pancreatitis, diabetes, hypertension as well as smoking.
----------------------
My wife's first diagnosis was painfully obvious - headed for complete obstruction - nothing subtle whereas the second part was a surprise. However, the doctors sometimes simply can't find the primary cancer, it's the mets that show up first, see also (adeno)carcinoma of unknown primary origin, as a "worst" case scenario.

My point is that serious mets may have no symptoms at all either, "feeling fine". The CEA may give you a substantial gift of time if it's real and you use it presciently. We can all hope that your CEA measurements are a less common false alarm but the normal experience for most here with rising CEA, and over 10, was like a starter's pistol going off on our race. Life Extension Foundation's cancer and colon cancer articles were our best first source of information and response before surgery.

Blood testing (we did many common blood biomarkers for cancer as soon as possible with a local lab) and non-, low toxicity answers were great investments for a little time, money to make progress and gain some peace of mind. That's not standard, but neither is my wife still being relatively healthy on immunochemo, much less feeling great all the time.

cheeks964's picture
cheeks964
Posts: 54
Joined: Nov 2011

I hear ya. I'm having my ct scan on tuesday, i'm going to mention the mets when i see him for my results. The doctor calls me his problem child cause he can't find anything. I was in such a high tech mri that there is only one so intense like that in our area, which sees my abdomen and my pelvic and beyong my pelvic and rectum. So i will keep positive and hopefull and keep moving forward to find out why these levels are up.

I will keep you in my prayers as i am with everyone else on this website. God bless.

Thanks again.
Carolyn

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

The thing about colon cancer is that you basically have NO SYMPTOMS, and everyone says you looks so good, I felt great while I had colon cancer for apparently a couple of years without knowing it, allowing it to spread to other parts of my body, and then I had stomach pain, that's why a lot of us are diagnosed at a stage IV (means it spread to other parts of our body)no symptoms. Seems that your ahead of the game getting it checked. I would certainly be getting a colonoscopy right away though and quit fooling around with the flexsig.
Winter Marie

cheeks964's picture
cheeks964
Posts: 54
Joined: Nov 2011

Hi,

Thanks everyone, i did just have a colonoscopy in sept of 2010, He is doing the ct scan on the pelvic and abdonomen area.. I did have that intense mri that shows through everything. I'm going to mention i need to have another colonoscopy. My polyp was in my rectum all the way at the bottom, my colon was clear. my pet scan was just in jan/feb of 2011. i just had the mri this summer 2011, he is staying on top of everything and doing all the flexsigs in between in addition with all the pet and ct and mri scans.

Just very nervous and scared. Anyone heard of Youngevity by dr. Wallach. Majestic Earth Minerals. Please advise

Thanks guys
Carolyn

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jun 2010

your cancer has not spread, it is VERY curable. CEA can go as high as 25 and not be cancer, it can also be 1.5 in a stage 4 cancer patient. This is why it is not used like the PSA is for prostate cancer.

If you want to use something crazy (my opinion, fwiw) like Youngevity, just don't do it in lieu of traditional treatments, particularly at such an early stage of the disease.

If it is available, you might want to get a PET/CT (both the PET and the CAT scan done at the same time).

Also, it has been a year since the last colonoscopy, and it is not unreasonable to get another one now since you had an active polyp on the last one.

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1271
Joined: Jun 2010

your cancer has not spread, it is VERY curable. CEA can go as high as 25 and not be cancer, it can also be 1.5 in a stage 4 cancer patient. This is why it is not used like the PSA is for prostate cancer.

If you want to use something crazy (my opinion, fwiw) like Youngevity, just don't do it in lieu of traditional treatments, particularly at such an early stage of the disease.

If it is available, you might want to get a PET/CT (both the PET and the CAT scan done at the same time).

Also, it has been a year since the last colonoscopy, and it is not unreasonable to get another one now since you had an active polyp on the last one.

cheeks964's picture
cheeks964
Posts: 54
Joined: Nov 2011

yes i agree another colonoscopy and the ct scan he's doing is with pet, that's how my last one was. I just found my last paperwork, i had the pet scan with ct for attenuation in March 2011 and i had the intense mri on abdomen and pelvis ct on July 2011.
Thanks again.

The doctor did tell me he has a older lady that has a cea of 12 and has stayed at that for a long time. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Saying lots of prayers morning and evening and throughout the day. Thanks you for your information, i feel a bit better

cheeks964's picture
cheeks964
Posts: 54
Joined: Nov 2011

yes i agree another colonoscopy and the ct scan he's doing is with pet, that's how my last one was. I just found my last paperwork, i had the pet scan with ct for attenuation in March 2011 and i had the intense mri on abdomen and pelvis ct on July 2011.
Thanks again.

The doctor did tell me he has a older lady that has a cea of 12 and has stayed at that for a long time. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Saying lots of prayers morning and evening and throughout the day. Thanks you for your information, i feel a bit better

geotina's picture
geotina
Posts: 2121
Joined: Oct 2009

With a rising CEA, there could be something going on. When the doc sends you for your CT, make sure it is chest, abdomen and pelvis. Forget the Flex/Sig at this point and go for the complete colonoscopy. Perhaps a PET is also in order although I don't know how long since your last one.

Best wishes and come back and let us know what you find out.

Tina

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