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CEA rise after recatal Surgery

Bradnjerzee's picture
Bradnjerzee
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2017

I had my rectum removed on October 2nd  2018 at Sloan Kettering in NYC.  My CEA was 40 at time of surgery.  two weeks later it was a 10, so the trend was going downeward which my surgeon was very happy about.  Two weeks ago I met with my oncologist and they took my CEA which came back as 24!  so now they are sending me for scans next week.  During my surgery they did remove 3 "distant lymph nodes" which were malignant.  Those nodes are the issue I have feeling that may have led to possible spread of this disease.

Should I be worried about the rise in the CEA # from 10 to 24 in just 7 weeks after surgery?  Can there be another reson for the rise or a false reading possibilty?

Just looking for hope.

Thanks

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1075
Joined: Feb 2015

 

I am at MSK also, but my CEA is measured a bit differently 1.0, 2.1 etc.  Anyway, there are a variety of reasons it can increase.  Are you on chemo?  Chemo can cause an increase.  

Mine was 8.5 before surgery, dropped to 3.9 after and started climbing when I was on chemo, going to a peak of 8.8  My CEA did start rising again later from a lung met.

A CEA of 2.4 is not considered high (if the same scale as what I have at MSK, but maybe without decimal point?) - 5.0 is when it is considered high.  It could be also just a normal fluctiation or from something else.   But definately keep on top of it.  And if it is cancer, MSK is one of the best in the world, if not the best.  Try to stay positive even if the news does not turn out perfect.

 

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4517
Joined: Jan 2013

Sugery does wild things to the body, including messing with the CEA results. 

But, it is wise to prepare yourself for a possible spread from those lymph nodes.  

And remember, even if the news isn't favourable, there is still hope. I myself had a recurrance nine months out, but that was taken care of and here I am six years from diagnosis, healthy and happy. 

Deep breath, and good luck. 

Tru

Bradnjerzee's picture
Bradnjerzee
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2017

Thank ou Tru, I am prepared for what ever has is thrown at me, I made it this far and Im feeling great now, so if a new lesion shows up, the fight is on again.  But praying I get lucky and there is no sign of disease!

Happy Holidays

Ruthmomto4's picture
Ruthmomto4
Posts: 564
Joined: May 2013

i hate it, it’s the cause of so much stress. My husbands went from 2.0 to 2.5 and I am in a panic. Even though it’s still in normal range for him a trend up usually continues. So if you have doubled a scan is a good idea. Honestly though it’s one of those tests that might be bad or might not be, so hopefully the scan will put you at ease. Good luck!

Bradnjerzee's picture
Bradnjerzee
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2017

Your husband is in the normal range so I would not worry one bit.  I'm praying for good results but only God know my path at this point.

Ruthmomto4's picture
Ruthmomto4
Posts: 564
Joined: May 2013

i know how his numbers work and up keeps going up, otherwise I know it’s normal range and it shouldn’t be a cause for worry but in this case it is. I hope you get good results very soon!

Bradnjerzee's picture
Bradnjerzee
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2017

Was your husband diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer?  How are you holding up?  Care takers are also extremely stressed and as a cancer patient we know its difficult to be around but wihout loved ones around we could never make it with your support

Ruthmomto4's picture
Ruthmomto4
Posts: 564
Joined: May 2013

had his first surgery to remove the tumor from his colon it was so low it technically could be rectal cancer. Whenever I see his diagnosis they lump it into colorectal so notxdure but I know the Dr said it was low enough to see easily as well. We are at Sloan as well.

Butt's picture
Butt
Posts: 95
Joined: May 2018

When I got diagnosed my marker was around 2200. After I started chemo it started to drop significantly and before my liver resection in May was 36. 3 weeks after the surgery it felt in a normal range but the high end. Mid July 2.9,clean scan mid August,  mid September 0.9, mid October 1.2. Scan in mid November showed recurrance. I was shocked. Butt. PS. You are gorgeous!

Bradnjerzee's picture
Bradnjerzee
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2017

Hi & thank you for the PS compliment that was very nice of you.  When did you get diagnosed and whats the latest news with your reoccurence?  Your CEA is in the normal range, BUT we know can jump around.  Let me know how you are doing.  have a great day

sylvia_mae
Posts: 61
Joined: Oct 2018

same here... when i had my radiation it went down from 4.4 to 1.8 then it rises to 3.5 (though still normal but my onco said it was already alarming). they combined my treatment with oral chemo and it went down again.

 

after i finish my chemo and radiation it went up to 5.5... doctor said she will have my cea checked by jan.2019 

Twinzma
Posts: 175
Joined: Jan 2018

I hate the CEA test so much. Every week my husbands draw is so different! One time it went up it was because he cut his fingers fishing. Another time it increased it was because the lab was switched without our knowledge. Now it has risen again, and the wait is torture! Is it because he just underwent anesthesia, or is it the rash from Erbitux that is getting infected? Who knows so we wait for the next draw if it increased again he will switch his regime for the 4th time. It's a mean little test, one that lies and changes at a whim and one that can render not so good results. Prayers that yours is just a fluke, the proof is in the scans! Hugs!!!!

Bradnjerzee's picture
Bradnjerzee
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2017

Hi Twinzma,

Agree CEA is an up and down thing and I agree with you, the proof is in the scans which I will have next week.  Thank you for the hugs!!!

Mikenh's picture
Mikenh
Posts: 797
Joined: Oct 2017

CEA is not a good indicator for me but it started rising near the end of chemo and then went above the normal range after chemo finished. The oncologist ordered a scan which was clear. I wound up charting the scores and noticed that the curve was similar to my steps curve (I've worn fitness trackers since early 2017). My steps decreased to a more normal level and my CEA went down. It is higher than it was when I was diagnosed but I'm getting in a moderate amount of exercise.

So under 10 seems to be an area where they aren't that concerned as it can be various aspects of life that cause noise in the number. My oncologist starts to get antsy above 20 though. He's in his 50s and he's only run into one recurrence and that was resolve through surgery.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 5810
Joined: Feb 2009

Surgery and other factors can throw off readings.  It's best to get the scans done to find any distant mets.  If you are on treatment that will make it rise as well.  Don't read too much into the numbers until the scan report comes back.  Please let us know how you are doing.

Kim

Bradnjerzee's picture
Bradnjerzee
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2017

Thank you Kim,

As you know its easy to begin worrying at any stage when battling this awful disease.  Ive been done with chemo since March of last year and had surgery in October of this year.  CEA was a 40 at time of surgery, a 10 2 weeks later and now 24, hence scheduled scans.  I was scanned in September and was all clear, can cancer rear its head in less that 8 weeks?

Thanks for your support.

Brad

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 5810
Joined: Feb 2009

If all is normal again with the scan and numbers continue to rise they might want to do a PET which can detect more, so I'm not sure if anything will show up in just 8 weeks.  The CEA number was not a good indicator for me but for others it is.  Once again, wishing you well.

Kim

myAZmountain
Posts: 113
Joined: Apr 2018

Not sure what kind of scan you had in September, but PET scans do not pick up anything smaller than about 1cm I believe. Praying that your next one is clean as a whistle!

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