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my aunt's CEA, way up from July 7

Posts: 124
Joined: Mar 2011

I haven't posted in a very long time. Just wanted to give a quick update for those who remember me at all.

Took my aunt to the dr. yesterday...I'll start from earlier. March her cea was 11.5, April it was 13.1, May 15.0, (don't recall June), July was 58.7, since her cea kept steadily going up he removed her from all chemo, including xeloda. Her diarrhea got better and she has been feeling better. She began having some pain about a month ago (so, October). Her first appt since July was yesterday and her cea was 159.8 :(

The dr. wants another ct scan on the 26th and then wants to see her the same day after the scan. He wants to put her on two different forms of chemo (she was first on Oxiliplatin and then Avastin). I don't even recall what the names of these two new ones are. The side effects of the new ones are, nausea, diarrhea, low blood, an acne like rash over the face, neck, upper chest and back. That's the update on my aunt, her son...he's not doing well, he has esphageal cancer, stage 3 and the dr. says there is a 35% survival rate for those at his level with his issues (I guess that's what he meant).

I wish everyone a pleasant Thanksgiving, stay safe. Many prayers sent your way that things go much smoother and healthier in your lives.


Doc_Hawk's picture
Posts: 685
Joined: Jan 2012

Hi Marianne,

The CT scan will be the best indicator of your aunt's health. How reliable has her CEA been as a yardstick in the past?

It sounds like one of the new drugs might be Vectibix, the worst side effect I've had from it was the damage to my skin. But we're all individuals, she may react different? Is her doc considering Zaltrap? I've heard some pretty positive things here, other places online and from my onc. I'm starting on it tomorrow, so it isn't one of her meds, I can let you know how I'm doing and possibly use that info to help her out.

Good luck and God Bless to your aunt, yourself and your cousin.


k44454445's picture
Posts: 494
Joined: Jul 2012

to hear the this news but know i will pray for both of them & also for you.

Posts: 124
Joined: Mar 2011

I had a long post written and no clue where it went.

Anyway...thank you for the posts K and Ray, I appreciate the time you took to respond to me. It means a lot.

Ray, I would be very interested to hear how your new medication "treats" you, side effects n such so please keep me in mind and let me know how things are going. The medications the Dr. wants my aunt to start have longer names than yours, but I will find out and let you know here what they are called.

Thank you both for your prayers and kind words. Everyone here is so sweet.

I wish everyone a pain free, blessed, Happy Thanksgiving, even if it's just for one day--it's something.


Posts: 124
Joined: Mar 2011

in case anyone wanted to read.

Posts: 35
Joined: Nov 2012

My mom has stage IV and her numbers went from I believe 52 to 92 within just a few weeks. She's not getting treatment until early January. Her CT scan showed nothing, so I'm not sure what that means. Presumably the cancer's there, it's just tiny.

I've been told that CEA can sometimes be taken "as a grain of salt", because everybody's different, and CEA can apparently go up from diseases much less serious than cancer. I'm not sure of this, it's just what I've read.

Posts: 124
Joined: Mar 2011

supposedly the cea count is just a "tumor marker" but I've always thought of it as a cancer "placer" sort of, when the number is low it's not bad and when it's higher it's worse. I know that the tumor has grown due to her CT scan and she's in more pain now and her CEA is 179 (when it was 58 in July, she wasn't in pain) so to me, a higher cea means the cancer is worse but I do know that every single person is different so just because a higher cea means my aunts tumor is larger (based on her CT scan) does not mean that the same could be true with your mom. I honest don't know much and I come here often to read and try to catch up when I have a few minutes in hopes that I can continue to learn more and more and more even if it's just something small that may bring a bit of comfort to my aunt. Like those milkshake drinks to help her diarrhea (which now I can't remember the name of so I'll go look for that post next).

Please take care of yourself.


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