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CEA Increase worried

Posts: 46
Joined: Aug 2019

I posted last week about my husbands back pain. He has been seeing a dr for and is currently going to a chiripractor once so far and has some medical massages on the books. In the meantime his worry that the back pain could be cancer we communicated the concern with his oncologist. She reassuringly said it is hightly unlikely. She told him he was due for his CEA so he did that on Friday, it increased by .7. When diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer it was 4.9 and then after surgery went down and even September of last year it  was so low they said it was undetectable. Normally it has been .5 and .6 Friday it was 1.2. His oncologist didnt seemed concerned when we asked her if we should be and she said it was within normal. I am so worried. She wanted to see him for a follow up and she said she can talk more about his back pain. I know he was due for an appt during covid but due to covid didn't go. So worried that she's concerned about something or it's just routine since she knows he's worried. Is it normal for CEA to rise like that or flucuate? His las scans were in September.

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5512
Joined: Jan 2013

My CEA has been a steady 1.2 for a few years, after a few more years of it being .5 and then 1. 

When it was .5  the test was read at a certain lab in Texas, then I changed labs, and my blood was sent to a different place, which reads differntly, thus it went to 1.0.  (I know there is a wonderful post, somewhere on the boards, that explains this better)

So, this could be something as simple as the test being read at a different facility. It could be some kind of inflamation, causing a slight jump. 

When I had my recurrance, my CEA jumped by ten points every week.

I'm thinking that .7 jump is OK, and to have confidence in the Oncologist. I am sure he will be getting his CEA done on a regular basis, so best to see what it is up to on the next visit. 

EDIT:  I found the post about CEA differences.


It is the 1st reply to the thread by zx10guy I just wanted to let you know


Posts: 46
Joined: Aug 2019

Thank you! It's so scary when after his surgery it went way down and stayed and was below then to jump like this. Can different things cause this besides cancer? thank you again

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