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CEA jumped

Tom M.
Posts: 151
Joined: May 2019

Just got my blood work back. everything good but my CEA went from 1.8 to 6.1 in 1 month. I am having a tumor ablated on my liver on th 20th. My CEA has not been above 2.5 for over a year. Any thoughts out there?

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5193
Joined: Jan 2013

There are other reasons for CEA jumps, including illness, infection, and the like.  Maybe your liver tumour is the reason, and the ablation will take care of that.  

And yes, I may say 'Deep breath', but I know the feeling, even when the CEA jumps a little. 

You're on the calendar for the 20th, and I'll be with you in thought. 

Tru

Tom M.
Posts: 151
Joined: May 2019

Thanks Tru. Iam concerned but I also know I am moving foward. Up and down for each and everyone of us.

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Canadian Sandy
Posts: 630
Joined: Jul 2016

My thoughts will also be with you on the 20th. I love your attitude. 

Tom M.
Posts: 151
Joined: May 2019

Thank you Sandy.

Real Tar Heel
Posts: 104
Joined: Nov 2019

CEA is a mystery indicator. If scans haven't shown anything other than the liver met perhaps it's not time to worry. Have you had a PET scan or full body yet?

Tom M.
Posts: 151
Joined: May 2019

My last PET scan was Oct. 2019 which was clear. Folowing CT scans have been good until I had an MRI last month that showed a 2cm lesion on my liver. I have been off chemo for 3 months now. I have a port flush and see the onc this week. Next week is the ablation.

Real Tar Heel
Posts: 104
Joined: Nov 2019

I've had two false positives on CT scans since I started this journey. The corresponding CEA jump suggests your finding might be legit but maybe ask for another looksee on MRI perhaps before enduring the RFA, or even a full body scan, just in case. It has been about three months since I was off chemo before the recurrence.

I'm thinking that if offered an RFA I'm going to opt for the knife.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6528
Joined: Feb 2009

My lab has established a new way of measuring the CEA and it took me by surprise with the new number as well.  It isn't always very reliable, and although it is hard not to worry, ask your doctor what he thinks.  Wishing you the best with your procedure coming up.  Let us know how it goes.

Kim

Tom M.
Posts: 151
Joined: May 2019

Thanks Kim. I will post after the ablation. I'm more nervious about having a one foot Q-tip shoved up my nose prior to that.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 5193
Joined: Jan 2013

My SiL had that done and she said it made her cry.  

Tru

Chrispires
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2020

Hi there. I am in a similar situation and have been doing some research on why your CEA can be elevated. I am very concerned because in three months my CEA doubled from a 22 to a 45. I have had every scan and test done... PET , CT, MRI, colonoscopy and mammogram... they have found nothing! I am at a loss!! I just don't want there to be some thing hiding that nobody can see and then later they find it and it's too late. My next step is to get an endoscopy to see if I may have an ulcer which I believe can elevate your CEA. Perhaps you should look into that as well if you don't find answers soon. Please share should you get any more information. Good luck to you

zx10guy
Posts: 266
Joined: Dec 2013

If the search function on this forum were better, you'd probably find my posts on your issue.  I've been living it for 3 years.  At the start of this horrible journey, my CEA went from 5.4 to 15.6 in 3 months.  All tests were done to see if we could find anything:  CT w/contrast, PET, targeted MRI to the small intestines, small bowel capsule endoscopy, upper endoscopy, colonoscopy.  Nothing was found.  For two years, my CEA bounced between 11 and 20.  All along nothing was found with CT scans.  Then last year, CEA jumped from 17 to 26.8.  Then next appointment it went up to 28.  Doc wasn't too concerned as it's still within the variability of the previous CEA number and the CT showed nothing.  Then my checkup in September raised all alarm bells.  CEA jumps to 52.4.  CT showed nothing so he orders a PET and MRI scan.  Both show nothing.  Re-test of CEA was done a month later, it drops to 44.4.  My last checkup in April showed my CEA went back up to 50.  No scan was ordered this time.  I suspect because I've been exposed to so many scans over the 8 years I've been under surveillence that my doc thinks I risk having a different cancer from all the radiation exposure.  I lose count on how many CT scans I've had done.  But I do know I've had 4 PET scans done which is not good due to the high amounts of radiation from this scanning method.  It exposes the body to the highest amount of radiation from any scan technique.

I know it's unnerving to be in this situation.  I was freaked out 3 years ago when this all started.  And I won't lie.  I was a bit freaked out when my CEA jumped to 52.4.  But as the months go by going into now years, I react less and less to what my CEA numbers are.  My doc feels that if this was cancer, it would have shown up a long time ago.  There is also a Taiwanese woman that was discussed in a medical article.  She had high CEA, even higher than both of ours, and no cancer was found.  They tracked her for 5 years and nothing ever came from it.  Her CEA went as high as into the hundreds but only as low as 60.

I'd see what your next CEA results are.  Can't treat something that can't be seen.  This is why I keep repeating that CEA is a horrible test.  There are so many factors that can cause false positives and even false negatives.  Liquid biopsies are being developed which may be the replacement for CEA testing as this testing detects malignant DNA in your blood.

danker
Posts: 1253
Joined: Apr 2012

Just assume all will be well- and it usually ends up that way!!  Good Luck!

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 1063
Joined: Aug 2013

It's when the CEA jumps and they see nothing, is when it's really disturbing. That happened twice over several years, and all you could do was hold your breathe and try to ease your mind until the next 3-month scan and blood panel. They have a plan and a known target, and you'll soon be on the other side, with likely a reset number, and the same pensive road of checks and numbers many of us walked for many years. I'd be fairly optimistic in your situation, given the relativity of it all. Good luck!!..................................Dave

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