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GOOD NEWS today! (but I have questions....)

gizzyluv's picture
Posts: 144
Joined: Feb 2013

So, today was Jason's 5th chemo treatment & because of an error in the lab (imagine that) they did the test to check his CEA (which wasn't scheduled to be done until May 22....) but I'm so glad they made the mistake! His CEA has gone from 74.52 back in February down to 8.96 today! NOW, for the question......I "kinda" know what that means, but not completely. The nurse explained it, but I still don't understand it completely. I've read about people with numbers in the THOUSANDS, & then others less than 5, so anyone who can put it in laymans terms for me I'd really appreciate it. One thing I DO understand it that the chemo is doing it's job! PRAISE GOD!

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6682
Joined: Feb 2009

That is wonderful news.  I'm not going to go into specifics about it because I'm not quite sure, but a decrease means that the treatments are working.  Normal range is 5 and below but there are factors involved including if you smoke, infection, etc.  Someone will come along and give you a better explanation but that is great news.


KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

...CEA was never a good indicator for me...




Hugs, Kathi

thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

A simple explanation of CEA:   The CEA measures the new blood vessel developement. When tumors grow they require new blood flow.  The more the blood flow the faster they grow. When new vessels grow they admit a protein and that is what the CEA is measuring.  


It is not exact and everyone is different.  My CEA was 1125 at its highest. My CEA is around 2.0 and I have mets and a small tumor. Who would figure?


Best Always,  mike


PS  I understand I simplified the explanation, do not beat me up on it. 

renw's picture
Posts: 282
Joined: Jan 2013

My understanding is that You can have a poorly differentiated tumour that releases little or no CEA protein and still have bloodvessel  development. The function of CEA is more about cell adhesion and the better differentiated the tumours are, the more CEA they are likely to release  into the blood stream. CEA and its functions are still not very well understood so there will be much more to the CEA story. But yes, CEA reduction will most likely correspond to reduced tumour cell activity, which is certainly great news, as it shows good responce to chemo.

steveandnat's picture
Posts: 887
Joined: Sep 2011

Like everyone else a cea going smaller is usually a good indication the chemo is working. Under 5 is what normal people are suppose to have. Some people get overly concerned if the cea moves up ever so slightly. Otfactor stores can cause cea to go up some so don't over worry. Pray we keep the cea low. Jeff

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