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odd update on my Aunt

Posts: 124
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi everyone, it's been a few months since I've been here. I hope, and pray that everyone is doing fairly well, at least that's my hope.

The Dr. switched my aunt to Avastin from Oxiliplatin (sp?) because the Oxiliplatin was giving her numbness and tingling in fingers/feet and he didn't want to make it "worse". Anyway, she was on Avastin for roughly 4 months I think, and her cea count continued to climb (she has also been taking xeloda the entire time--since April of last year 2 weeks taking it, 1 week off at the same time taking first the oxiliplatin and later the switch to Avastin) anyway, her cea continued to climb so he removed her from all medications about 90 days ago, when he saw her a few weeks ago, her cea had gone down...just 1 1/2 points but still it went down even though she was not on any medication...I don't understand that. I went KNOWING that the Dr. would say her cea went through the roof, but I never expected it to be lower. He told her to stay off the medication and he'll see her again on 9/20/12, now again I fear that the cea will be through the roof.

I guess I'm mainly writing because I don't understand why the cea would have gone down at all when she was not taking any type of medication at all.

Anyway....thanks for listening to me ramble. Stay well.


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6715
Joined: Feb 2009

That test sometimes just isn't real reliable and a lot of doctors won't use it. Is she scheduled for any scans? That number fluctuating in people are very common as a lot of different factors can affect the rise and fall. I'm sure she will be having that checked again before she goes in to her next appointment. Wishing her the best.


fatbob2010's picture
Posts: 467
Joined: May 2012

Kim that is what my oncologist says also. He says that CEA is not a real good marker and that it is subject to all kinds of outside influences. The surgeon who did my liver surgery seems to not be a fan of CEA and works off of scans too. Hopefully there is a scan in the future, full body might be good, to try and locate any nasties that are growing. It does sound confusing to me as well but hopefully at the next appointment the Oncologist will be open to a more in depth discussion. Labxiety and scanxiety seem to make our world turn upside down as we wait for the other shoe to drop. ((Hugs of hope and patience))

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

Just another example of why the CEA often isn't a reliable tool for tracking colon cancer...
I hope your Aunt does well

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