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Rising CEA

Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2019

My mother, a life-long heavy smoker and DES mother, died of breast cancer at 80.  My two sisters died of ovarian cancer (one was a DES daughter) at 54 and 56.  And my brother died of pancreatic cancer at 61. I am now 63.

I am a non-smoker and my CEA has been steadily rising over the past three yrs.  Two years ago, it was over 7, last year it was over 9, and this year, it is 16.8.  The reference range for non-smokers is 0-3.9 for this test at this lab and I am a non-smoker.  All three years, the test was processed at the same lab.

Results from my mammo, pelvic sono, abdominal sono, endoscopy, and colonoscopy reveal only a fatty liver, hiatal hernia, and a few ulcers, none of which has been bzd enough to make me  symptomatic.   

My OB/GYN oncologist is satisfied that sufficient testing has been done and that I am cancer-free.  I'd like to believe this but that 7 point jump from last year till this year is frankly concerning, particularly since one site I googled claimed that once your CEA reaches 20, you likely have metastatic cancer -- cancer that has spread.

I have an appointment scheduled with my PCP for  two weeks from now regarding this matter.  I don't know if I should cancel.  

Do you hsve snything to say to me, based on your medical background or experience of cancer, that you would like to share with me?  If so, I am all ears!  

Thank you!




CSN_Bill's picture
Posts: 23
Joined: Sep 2016

Hi Liza, 

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If the CSN Support Team can be of any assistance, please reach out to us through email at this address: CSNSupportTeam@cancer.org

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CSN Support Team


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