Just took a quarterly blood test and got CEA results back.
For the past 5 quarters before it, the CEA number has been going up. Some quarters by tenths of a point (0.1, 0.2, etc) , other quarters by whole points (1.0, even 1.1, 1.3)
Here is the history below. As you can see, starting at least 10/29/16 the CEA number has only been going up, never down, like it did during the first 5 quarters. Now the CEA is at 5.5 and while our oncologist seems to have previously indicated that anything 4 or less is considered normal to our particular hospital (Kaiser).
The oncologist said that should the CEA hit 6, she may pull in the CT scan to be done sooner than the 1 year anniversary (after 3 years, the oncologist had deemed CT scans could be done once a year instead of every 6 months, unless CEA crosses a certain threshold). So the oncologist has asked for another blood test in 1 month, and if the CEA measures 6 or higher, "additional testing will be performed".
At one point, due to an oral infection and inflammation of the gums, it was thought that the inflammation might be the cause of the CEA increases, but since the inflammation couldn't have lasted 6 quarters, it is hard to attribute the CEA increase to that (or at least that alone). Cigarette smoke exposure is also another thing that's supposed to cause CEA increases, but there's been no real exposure to that.
What other possibilities are there? High blood pressure or high cholesterol?
Needless to say, this trending has been very worrisome and the anxiety has been creeping higher with each quarter's CEA results over the past 6 quarters.
Are there cases where CEA only goes up for a duration of as long as 1.5 years and then suddenly goes down again and starts trending downwards?
If anyone has experience with any of this and could provide some helpful information, it would be greatly appreciated!
10/31/15 - 1.9
1/26/16 - 1.6
4/30/16 - 1.9
7/28/16 - 1.9
10/29/16 - 1.7
1/28/17 - 2.1
4/29/17 - 3.0
7/29/17 - 3.1
11/1/17 - 4.2
2/6/18 - 5.5