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CEA Counts

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CEA Counts

Postby Guest » Mon Jan 21, 2008 2:58 pm

Can CEA counts fall or remain the same during treatment if the cancer is still growing?
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My Understanding

Postby ASTEPHENS33 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:08 pm

My understanding is that CEA counts can go up during chemo treatment and this is not necessarily reflective of the cancer that may or may not be in your body. My CEA went up during chemo and it took about 6 months to return to a normal range.
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Postby janey » Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:41 pm

I find this CEA business very confusing. I thought it had to be above 5 as an indicator of cancer. Today I read through my notes and apparently the day of my op(when I had cancer) the result was only 0,7. So if you were to go on that alone you,d say I didn,t have cancer, but I DID ! My results from 14th Dec are 1,2, so it,s gone up, not much I know.I have read people on here saying you can,t always go by the marker level.
janey
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Postby Guest » Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:15 pm

janey wrote:I find this CEA business very confusing. I thought it had to be above 5 as an indicator of cancer. Today I read through my notes and apparently the day of my op(when I had cancer) the result was only 0,7. So if you were to go on that alone you,d say I didn,t have cancer, but I DID ! My results from 14th Dec are 1,2, so it,s gone up, not much I know.I have read people on here saying you can,t always go by the marker level.
janey


From what I've been told,is that some people that have rectal cancer or colon cancer does not have a high cea at diagnosis, but some do. My dad's was 47 when he was diagnosed in Feb 06. His went down to 10 after surgery and down to 1, 2 and 3's during treatments. Now 1 year later it was up to 4.4 and 6.6 so it looks like his is rising again and they are also watching spots on his lungs, so that is probably why his cea is up.
Cynthia
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Postby Magnolia » Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:44 am

CEA can be low at diagnosis if the tumor is small or has not spread. Or it can be high. Each person is different. It may drop with treatment, or the chemo itself may cause it to go up a bit. What your docs will do is watch the trends your particular values take. If it's doing one thing for a while and suddenly does something different, that may mean something. If it follows the same trend it has been doing, it probably isn't significant. Unless it starts going up for no apparant reason. Then you start looking for a reason. But chemo can be the reason. It's not unusual to see a bump in CEA during treatment.
Dx Stage IIIC CC 3/10/06
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CEA Information

Postby ASTEPHENS33 » Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:01 am

http://jco.ascopubs.org/cgi/content/abs ... .08.2644v1 - is the website for the "ASCO 2006 Update of Recommendations for the Use of Tumro Markers in Gastroinentinal Cancer". If you go to the Full Text, in Table 1, item 1c the last sentence states "Because chemotherapy may falsely elevate CEA levels, waiting until chemotherapy is finished to initiate surveillance is advised." There is a great deal more to the article, so you might want to read it, as taking one sentence might be out of contect.
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Postby marina » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:54 pm

I was diagnosted with Stage !V with multiple mets to the liver and my CEA was/is 2.4 - the norm for healthy people is 2,5 or 4 for the smokers.
My tumour completely obstructed the colon (it's how I found that something wrong) and it was huge involving abdominal wall and multiple lesions in liver. Sometimes cancer is not identified by CEA - don't count on it
Dx Oct 2007, stage IV at 47 y.o.
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cea

Postby gjh » Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:25 pm

Like Marina, I was diagnosted Stage !V with multiple mets to the liver and my lungs. But my CEA was 1600, and now after 4 chemo treatments my CEA has dropped to 88.
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My CEA decline

Postby EBMJ » Thu Feb 14, 2008 9:42 am

During my chemo treatments, my oncologist was mostly looking for a downward trend. Here is the pattern I went through

Diagnosis - 5,000
after colon resection - 3,000
after 11 rounds of folfox w/avastin - 125
after liver resection - 1.4

So even though my count looked dire to begin with, it was continually going down, and my oncologist was not overly concerned with the early large numbers.
51 year old male, DX: Stage IV CC with liver mets 07
Too many Surgeries
Too much chemo
Too much radiation
PM me if you want the details
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Postby bradyr » Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:25 pm

yes the CEA could fall even if the cancer is growing. this is because the CEA is not a completely accurate tool to tel you what is happening.

in general this shouldn't happen. In general, it should be increasing. but it could have already increased to some "max" value for the time and new inflamation of the growing tumors not change that detected level of inflamation overall for your body. THis would be high number for that individual that doesn't get any higher

There are also cases where folks have cancer, but the CEA doesn't go up at all or only goes up marginally. This is someone who doesn't get a high number normally, even if they have cancer.

the number can also change over a few weeks up and down for other reasons unrelated to the cancer, which causes problems in looking for a trend.

in general as one poster said, for every individual, over time the doc learn the numbers that appear to be the normal "high" values and the normal "low" values. but more importantly, they look a trend to going up as an early warning to do more imaging or otherwise look for cancer, while they look a trend gong down as a good thing that treatment is working (confirmed by imaging).
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