CEA and CT Scans

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CEA and CT Scans

Postby jaybel » Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:57 am


In Sept of 2016 I was diagnosed with Stage 1 colon cancer. I had surgery to remove the tumor which turned out to be a low grade cancer, 23 lymph nodes were removed with no sign of cancer and clear margins. Before my surgery my CEA levels where measured in two different labs. One came back at .9 and the day of the surgery the hospital lab measure 1.5 CEA. Two weeks after the surgery my CEA was .3 and it has been going up every three months since the surgery. Now after 18 months past the surgery my CEA is measured at .9. I am really concerned about the CEA level and really don't know what to think of it. Does anyone know much about CEA? Does a person who never had cancer have CEA levels that can go this high?

My other concern is the amount of CT scans my doctor has ordered. I was told by another oncologist that every six months for a person with Stage 1 cancer is a lot of radiation with the CT scans. I have a 2mm node on my lung which has not changed in a year so I don't know why my doctor wants to run another CT scan on me when I just had one six months ago. Any thoughts on this situation and what I should do? Should I wait a bit before getting another scan and are my CEA levels a concern? Thanks for any feedback. `

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Re: CEA and CT Scans

Postby Robino1 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:10 am

.9 is well, well below normal. If they were climbing a full point I would worry more. It is good that you are watching them closely. Cat scans are routinely done every 6 months for monitoring purposes. Once you get past a certain time, they get less frequent.

Ask your doctor what he/she feels is the plan. For example: every 6 months until you hit 3 years with no evidence of disease then once a year? They do have a plan but you need to ask.

I get scanned every 3 months but my CEA seems to be climbing back up. Slow climb but still climbing. My next CT scan will tell me more about what the heck is going on inside.

Good luck and it sounds like you're doing great. :mrgreen:

Welcome to our group...not a group we really want to join but so glad to have found.
At 54 2014 1st colonoscopy colon cancer detect
Colon resect margins clear. No chemo Stage II
Distend abd, pain in intestines.
CT scan seeding & Ascites
Lap diag - cancer on the omentum
CEA 217; 219
FOLFOX started 6/17
CEA 202
8/29/17 CT melting of tumor.
Latest CT scan shows 2 new tumors and return of ascites.
CEA: (2017)9/30 -109; 10/12 -99.1; 11/4 -90.7; 11/30 -70.7; 12/14 -83.4; (2018)1/4 -73.3; 2/1-84.2; 89.2; 89.8; 88.5; 81.8: 93.5; 107; 119
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Re: CEA and CT Scans

Postby susie0915 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:09 am

My CEA generally is less than .5. It did go up to 1 a few months back and I asked my oncologist about it and she was not worried. The next one was back to less than .5.
I also have a 4mm nodule that has not changed in a year. I had a chest scan in January, and will probably have another in June when I have my abdominal/pelvic ct scan. I think no change in 2 years is the time frame used to rule out cancerous nodule.
58 yrs old Dx @ 55
5/15 DX T3N0MO
6/15 5 wks chemo/rad
7/15 sigmoidoscopy/only scar tissue left
8/15 PET scan NED
9/15 LAR
0/24 nodes
10/15 blockage. surgery,early ileo rev, c-diff inf :(
12/15 6 rds of xelox
5/16 CT lung scarring/inflammation
9/16 clear colonoscopy
4/17 C 4mm lung nod
10/17 pel/abd CT NED
11/17 CEA<.5
1/18 CT/Lung no change in 4mm nodule
5/18 CEA<.5, CT pel/abd/lung NED
11/18 CEA .6
5/19 CT NED, CEA <.5
10/19 Clear colonscopy
11/19 CEA <.5

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Re: CEA and CT Scans

Postby jaybel » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:09 pm

How many months apart are your CT scans. I am so freaked out over my CEA always go up and never down. .3 to .9 in 16 months post surgery. It never was out of range even when diagnosed. 1.5 day of surgery . I dont know if I should go get the CT scan that puts me at four scans in 16 months.

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Re: CEA and CT Scans

Postby rp1954 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:33 pm

1. There are newer model CT scanners that deliver lower radiation, some much lower radiation. The improvements are due to more and newer detectors, and/or due to better software with more intensive calculations.

2. Better, more thorough blood testing may shed some light what is going on. CEA is the best CRC marker on a population average, your CEA levels are clearly in the low range. Other markers and panels can be useful with well informed, more expert drs. We've had a number of members who could only track their CRC with CA199, or its more specific cancer version CA242. Advanced lab analyses can be run at several technical levels, depending on your advocacy, investment and support level available. We chose a combination relatively inexpensive, common blood tests used with interested medical support and DIY, well beyond the NCCN guidelines. It pays nice dividends.

3. It is possible to use supplements and generic drugs as (nonstandard) molecular and immunological neoadjuvant treatments to slowdown cancer cells action, improve immunocompetence, or undermine a cancer promoting environment. This is also useful practice and information if you need later treatment with surgery or chemo; preparation and experience are cumulative.
watchful, active researcher and caregiver for stage IVb/c CC. surgeries 4/10 sigmoid etc & 5/11 para-aortic LN cluster; 8 yrs immuno-Chemo for mCRC; now no chemo
most of 2010 Life Extension recommendations and possibilities + more, some (much) higher, peaking ~2011-12, taper to almost nothing mid 2018, mostly IV C

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