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CEA marker rising . CT scan clear

shyamali
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2019

Hello,

My father was diagnosed with rectal cancer last June. Underwent radiotherapy and then surgery in August 2018. Ever since the surgery , the CEA marker has been rising 2.86, 3.58, 4.88 for every 3 monthly check-up (He's a non-smoker). CT scan of Chest, abodmen & pelvis seems clear. Anyone had the same issue and what does it signify ?

 

nicktacoma's picture
nicktacoma
Posts: 11
Joined: May 2019

I have stage 4 colon cancer  I had surgery on April 24th to remove a large tumor. CEA level at that time was 20.1 ng/ml my CEA level has risen on my last two labs,My last labs showed my CEA at 33.6 ng/ml oncologist sent me in for CAT scan my Cat scan showed no tumors. he then sent me in for a PET scan, the PET scan showed activity that the cancer has spread to my lungs.  I have had 1 chemo treatment on the 10th of June and schedualed for 11 more no radiation ordered yet. Not sure if that helps but that is where Im at.

So far so good!

Nicktacoma 

 

 

   
shyamali
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2019

Thank you for responding. All the best for your treatment.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4830
Joined: Jan 2013

Maybe a pain - well, they are for me - but I also had a CT Scan that didn't show any Cancer, but the following PET showed it had showed it had spread to the liver.  

So, I would ask the Oncologist about getting a PET Scan. 

But, for some people the CEA is not a good indicator of Cancer, and they have high CEA results with no disease and your father may just be one of those people. 

Wishing him the best. 

Tru

shyamali
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2019

Thank you for responding. The Oncologist has said that he'll ask for a PET scan if the CEA has gone up again in 6 weeks' time.

Wish you all the best as well

Nazareth
Posts: 87
Joined: Nov 2017

Good- sounds liek your doc is working with you folks well- and willing to do everythign to keep on top of the issue- Hope that the rising CEA is just a annomylie - but the stress it brings is still tough to deal with- rising CEA's is just soemthign we're all going to fear I'm afraid- Hope and pray your Dad's turns out to be ok-

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Mine's at something like 71 right now. I'm expecting my oncologist's office to call any day and tell me I need to get back on chemo. I wanted the summer off because it makes me so sun sensitive and the rash gets worse in the sun but maybe that's too much to ask for. I've seen people on here with much higher counts. On the flip side, when I had the original tumour mine never went up. It was always normal and not a good indicator. Cancer is weird.

Jan

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 608
Joined: Dec 2017

Are you taking an antibiotic for the rash? I have only had one treatment, so not sure if I will eventually get the rash. I asked for proactive preventative, and he gave me an antibiotic. At MSK, they have a doctor just for treating the rashes. There is even a sign at checkin, let us know immediately if rash so can be looked at.

Djspareme's picture
Djspareme
Posts: 18
Joined: Mar 2019

My ct showed ned for 3 scans.  In april I had a PETscan that showed 2 new spots.  I will be reading chemo in july.  I was told some spots are too small to be seen on a ct but are very evident on PET.  My oncologist told me no more cts PET only.  CEA never outside normal range until last test in june when it went to 15.

 

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6184
Joined: Feb 2009

Sorry about your dad.  It sounds like he might need a PET scan to determine if there is any hidden spots that can't be seen.  It's sounds like your dad's CEA fluctuates indicating some type of activity.  Mine never did so even my rectal cancer could be seen, it wasn't picked up by CEA and stayed normal the whole time during treatment.  Wishing your dad the best.

Kim

Butt's picture
Butt
Posts: 299
Joined: May 2018

I was told by my oncolgyst that in many cases it starts rising months before things will show up on a scan. There is a time lag and I refer to the rising pattern. Butt.

debugy2k's picture
debugy2k
Posts: 83
Joined: Oct 2017

Sigh...wish my mom's CEA was that low...she's in the 300s =(

shyamali
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2019

I realized after going through some threads on this forum that CEA can go really,really high. Wishing your mom all the best for her treatment

nuc
Posts: 42
Joined: Jun 2019

It appears that PET scans and CT's have a limit of visualizing lesions of 5-7mm.  Any smaller then that, and the lesion is still to small to be seen by imaging studies. 

"A rising CEA at any time during followup should alert the clinician about a possible recurrence."  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK14012/

shyamali
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2019

Thank you for your response ? Does that mean that you simply have to wait it out until the lesions are of a sufficient size to be seen on PET Scans & CT's ?

nuc
Posts: 42
Joined: Jun 2019

There are many things, with research behind them (use Google), that have been found to either boost your immune system or are chemotaxic unto themselves.  These can be used in your fight.  Generally, if you wait for your oncologist to be proactive against cancer, you'll be in for  a long wait.  Just getting generalized nutritional advice from them, is like pulling teeth.  You are your own best advocate.  There  can be more to beating cancer, then just the big 3.

Adam

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 878
Joined: Apr 2017

I agree with Adam.  Also, use pubmed for focused, academic research.  There are many old threads on this site that discuss ways of optimzing your chances of survival.

Butt's picture
Butt
Posts: 299
Joined: May 2018

Many of that nutritional research is published in a low tire journals. Someone wrote something about some supplement. They publish it. some will jump on it. I am not aware of solid qualitative studies that are published in respectful medical journals with analysis of nutrition venues (besides eat healthy not too much meat)  in reference to colon cancer stage 4. I refer to specific supplemts. I do have access to all those medical databases and journals thru work. There are poor people who read on Canvas of Dr. Google or even some research article that a supplement A is good and now they put it in their mouth because they think it is a solution to the problem together with other supplements  that they learn about thru google or those multiple artickes because some guy from India  published something in a weak journal because he needed a publication. Butt.

nuc
Posts: 42
Joined: Jun 2019

To throw the baby out with the bath water, I think is a disservice to all of us fighting this disease.  If a person chooses to not stray from the big 3 in cancer treatment, there is nothing lesser about them because of that.  If a person chooses to search for something outside of, or in addition to the big 3, that also does not make them a lesser person.

If a person is only interested in substances that have double blind, placebo controlled, phase 3 trials behind them, then they will be limited to high powered pharmaceuticals, which drug companies have patented and make billions from.  Following that path, also, does not make them a lesser person.

Most studies that are in the public domain, wil be in vitro and in vivo, and each person needs to do what they feel comfortable with, it's your body and your life.  When searching out and identifying substances that can be helpful in the fight against cancer, multiple studies, (whether taking place in India, Russia, UAE, China, Japan, Iran, U.S., etc...) which are from different, unrelated entities, yet are coming up with similar outcomes, do have weight and value.  It is a mistake to disparage the entire field, because they are not double blind, placebo controlled, etc, etc... 

However, it does take a lot of time/effort to cull these studies and suss out the wheat from the chaff. 

In the end, whatever you choose to do for yourself, because you have done it for yourself, is the right thing. 

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees for any of us.

Adam

 

SandiaBuddy's picture
SandiaBuddy
Posts: 878
Joined: Apr 2017

There is also the risk/benefit factor.  What is the harm in drinking a glass of milk, eating tree nuts, taking vitamin d, getting exercise or sun exposure?  What is the risk of pursuing a pesco-vegetarian diet?  Not much, from my point of view.  Plus, even if it does not help, at least I feel that I am doing something, which is quite valuable to me.

myAZmountain
Posts: 258
Joined: Apr 2018

Recall that the medical journals and community once approved of Tobacco and Thalidimide--studies are only as good as the persons doing the research and who is funding them IMO. Why not consider and embrace a healthier diet, supplements, exercise and stress reduction --can only help!

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