Claudine wrote:It seems to me that what matters, if CEA levels are good indicators for you, is the trend, not single values. But even so. I was so worried this morning when we went to the onc to hear about last Friday's control scan. My husband's levels, after bottoming out at 3.2 in July, have since slowly but regularly been rising (I don't have today's value but two weeks ago it was 6.9). Yet the scan isn't showing any progression/recurrence; the adrenal met is stable to slightly smaller compared to the September scan, the lungs are still fine, the vertebrae is stable. I'm not sure why the CEA numbers are rising, but I'll trust the scan that things are still moving in the right direction (for now!).
Yeah I find it all very confusing! His new CEA is 2700, which is over double compared to 2-3 weeks ago, before his 1st chemo (1300). He had an x-ray of his thorax on Friday because he's been coughing, but there was no new growth visible there. I've read that especially with oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy regimens, you can see a "CEA flare" as they call it, where the CEA first rises and then drops sharply. I hope that's the case. I think that's what happened when he was on FOLFIRI. The first few tests just came back as "over 40,000" (which is as high as the test goes), and then suddenly it dropped to 29,000 and just kept dropping after that.
I've seen some threads about mysterious CEA levels, but they are usually WELL below the range that Jesper's is in. I wonder if it's because he has so many small lung mets? The strange thing is, he's basically symptom-free. I thought the CEA was supposed to be some kind of indication of tumor burden on the body. It seems with such high CEA levels he should be feeling SOMETHING. But he's healthy-looking, muscular and only feels bad when he gets chemo. He has no pathologically enlarged lymph nodes and no new tumors have grown since his diagnosis in February, even on a 10-week chemo break. Does anyone understand or have any explanation for it?