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Scan says stable but CEA went up to 3.7 so scared

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 813
Joined: Dec 2017

my scans keep saying I am stable, but my CEA was 1.5, then rose to 2, now at 3.7. 

I have really bad allergies, but don't know if that could be the cause for the jump. 

 

 

Real Tar Heel
Posts: 103
Joined: Nov 2019

Maybe trust the scans. Can you ask for a different kind? I had normal CEA with a tumor and higher CEA with a tumor. I don't know anymore. It's only with several indicators can any doctor make a diagnosis. Try to get more information and relax until you do.

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 813
Joined: Dec 2017

My CEA was 1.5 (low) when I had 2 liver tumors and 4 lung tumors. The liver tumors have shrunk till can't be seen on scan. When I had the first set of HUGE tumors, my levels were sky high, and reduced as the size of the tumors reduced. So, they are a marker for me.

SnapDragon2's picture
SnapDragon2
Posts: 312
Joined: Nov 2019

Ikr, scares the crap out of you!!!  I am so sorry your cea is up.

Have you met with onc yet?

Other than allergies, how do you feel?

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 813
Joined: Dec 2017

I did but I snapped at him, and then he responded with sarcasm. And I hadn't seen the CEA levels yet. In my defense, for a couple of nights before a scan until the results, I am a sleepless, persnikity, basket case, and them running 2 hours late while I was counting down the minutes to results did not help my persnikityness.

Googled and found that an NIH article that says asthma can cause elevated levels, and I have bad allergy induced asthma lately, so maybe? Plus, my scan had "tubular branching opacities, consistent with mucus impaction secondary to tumor". Maybe that would cause it to rise. I read lung infections casue a rise, so maybe that counts. 

 

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 813
Joined: Dec 2017

I keep wanting to get back to cardio and helathy eating, but let my malaise and fatigue stop me. This just might be the catalyst I need to see if I can somehow help the cancer fighting reduce those tumors by getting back in the cardio game.

 

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6525
Joined: Feb 2009

Don't worry too much about it as CEA is not real reliable.  My last one they gave me two results, one calculated at the old method and a newer method which was higher.  Labs are different and now with ours, their results are different.  If the scans are clear, I'd be happy about that and if you trust your doctor, hear what they have to say and go from there. 

Kim

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 813
Joined: Dec 2017

Yeah, I am trying. 

PamRav's picture
PamRav
Posts: 281
Joined: Jan 2017

Never correlated with my mets either.  Ive had mets with low
levels and mets with only slighty raised levels.  We go by what the scans show. 
I ve just did the 4th folfox and my cea went down. I was thrilled but my onc not so much. 
he was happy it didnt go higher but wasn't interested that it went down 

a 2 hour wait is enough to make anyone a grouch,  geez.  i receive sarcasm from my onc too.  I think everyone is unhappy these days 

hope you continue to do well,on your regimen 

 

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 813
Joined: Dec 2017

Thank you. When I was initially diagnosed, my liver mets were 7 cm, 5cm , and I forget the other one. My CEA level when down exactly in proportion to how much the tumors shrank. It was such a good indicator that my oncologist was surprised when I had a recurrence at my first post mop up chemo scan at 6 weeks. He said, but your CEA level is only 1.5

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1197
Joined: Feb 2015

There are many reasons why CEA can increase other than a tumor marker - infection is one.  You may have seen the things posted here about that.

One to keep in mind is that chemotherapy destroying tumors can increase the CEA.  It is for me.  So if the scans are showing things are good, go with those if you.  (Cannot remember where you are in the chemo game now).  On FOLFOX my CEA shot up WAY past what it was (about doble) to when I had the original surgery.  I am guessing it was working on the METS that were out and about.  We did not really track CEA on FOLFORI.  When I started LONSURF we started tracking it again.  It has gone up since I started the LONSURF each time we took it, and you know what my scans showed last week :)

(Not sure what your CEA scale is - my lowest it has been since this has started is 3.7.  First chemo drove it to 8.8, current is 15.6)

 

> am a sleepless, persnikity, basket case,

 

Me to.  And maybe you can add that maybe I am bit of an a-- also.  I try to stay away from people.  :) 

 

As to exercise, it ain't easy.  There are days it takes me two hours of looking at my sneakers, more so when I am on the chemo cycle or just finished, to get on the treadmill.  Anything you can do is going to help you.  Do five minutes and you get off the machine thinking "Screw Cancer"  The thing to remember is NOT to get down on yourself if you do 5 minutes instead of an hour.  Or slower than normal.  The reason why I say that, is because I do that all the time.  Then people around me look at me like I am an idiot (well my brother and wife in particiular, rightfully so I may add ;) ) and remind me I have cancer and having chemotherapy, where most "healthy" people will not do that.

 

Keep it going Abitia, you got this :)

 

 

 

 

 

abita's picture
abita
Posts: 813
Joined: Dec 2017

Thank you! Maybe I will try to think of that when my CEA rises. My long tumors are stable, meaning they are just a little bigger or remain unchanged with each scan whereas the liver tumors shrink to cant be seen on ct scan rather quickly. I have read that in some cases, it is possible that the cancer cells are dying, but they don't get flushed out, small amount where that is the case, but maybe that is me.

I am 14 months into my second line treatment of erbutix and irinotecan.

I did go see an integrative medicine person and she said basically what you said, if I can get to even a modified 15 minutes twice a day should consider that as successful as when before cancer i could do an hour at the top incline at a fast pace on the elliptical. I am trying to tidy up around the house so I have more time to spend on the healthy things I need to do. My apt has gotten quite messy during the few months where my sleep was a huge problem. I think going to put comfy workout gear on when I get up, then get shoes on during morning meeting. My machine is even next to my desk. I have even thought I will put the bottle of water on the machine using a swell bottle which keeps the water cold for 24 hours. Will stop with my boring details. I think saying it makes me closer to starting :) I honestly feel I just need to get a pattern established for sleep, exercise, cooking healthy, and make it a habit. 

Thanks for listening to my meanderings

 

NewHere's picture
NewHere
Posts: 1197
Joined: Feb 2015

You got this.  

>Will stop with my boring details. I think saying it makes me closer to starting :)

I have heard )and have participated a bit) in entire conversations about the proper mix of different things to put into water and carry during the race.  "A Gu 20 minutes before the swim so you peak on that starting, an Enduraltye every 20 minutes on the bike with a Clif Blox on the half hour and hour..."  LOL.  It is fine.  Happy to talk any and all details with you as you go through this.  Seriously.  If you want to talk about that it is awesome.  Take your time, even 15 minutes once every other day if it what works with how you are feeling.  You want to be able to do what you can to start, not overshoot.  It will come back.  Be psyched with what you can do, really helps.  (Again, only because I have to remind myself when I am beating myself up in my  head a bit.  When I pause and think about it, despite whatever "disapointment," I usually wind up with a smile, or at least a grin.  

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 1061
Joined: Aug 2013

I'm long out of treatment and am still telling myself to get it in gear. I'll jump on the elliptical, full incline and do 30 minutes hard [70rpm] and 15 minutes cool down, but the rest of it I just haven't brought myself to regulate and do every day. Just the basics: push-ups, sit-ups minor weights, I can't get regular with. Sometimes it's work related, it's the boy's business now, but I find there's still stuff to do. It's a struggle even after treatment, I find I like taking as little responsibility as I can, but having arrived at this point, I'm wondering how healthy it is. And here your are,  dealing with that damn, scary CEA, fluctuating. It sucks, I know, but my time with it was different though the anxiety would have been similar. You seem to have a good handle on your fears overall, Abita, so I'll skip the pep talk and wish you comfort and peace, and a good drop in that sucker next go round.........................................Dave

danker
Posts: 1253
Joined: Apr 2012

Just assume all is well- And it will be!!

Worrying about test results is useless.  GOD loves us and will take care of us.  Good luck to you!

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