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CEA levels rapidly rising

Robomom
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2018

Hello all!

I'm new here as of today, and I'm very glad I found this forum! I have searched through the different topics and I have found a lot about CEA levels, although not yet any story that corresponds to my own. I was diagnosed with third stage colon cancer late 2016 and I had a colon resection in January of last year, followed by 6 months of chemo (actually more like 8 months, due to to some difficulties with the treatment). My CEA level pre-surgery was 9 and at the end of August of last year it was 3 - which was fine!

A year after surgery (end of January) I did the follow up routine with CEA and a CT. The CT was clear, but the CEA had risen to 12! I should add that throughout my treatment I have had several ultrasounds of my liver (I can't do MRIs) due to the fact that they saw something too small to determine what it was. My doctor sent me a letter (I live in Sweden) saying that my CEA had risen and that they would retake it in April - I didn't feel that was reasonable, considering it was 4 times higher than in August, so I requested a new test. This was done and yesterday I found out that it is now 17! This time my doctor is concerned and has ordered a new coloscopy and a PET CT, which will be done as soon as possible (which could still mean several weeks of waiting).

Has anyone else experienced this kind of rapid rise of CEA levels? I am trying to be positive, but it's hard not to be terrified.

Kind regards,

Ingrid

Mikenh's picture
Mikenh
Posts: 777
Joined: Oct 2017

Increasing CEA is a very common topic on CRC forums and I posted one myself yesterday. I have seen levels in the hundreds and even thousands and maybe one in the tens of thousands. My CEA levels while I had a huge tumor was normal and it's been rising but I'm pretty sure that the rise is due to chemo.

In your case, I think that the doctor is right to be concerned. I'm sure that others have had similar to what you're seeing and they should comment on that. Mine have been rising 0.4 with every chemo cycle but still within normal.

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