CEA Confusion

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galee
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:44 pm
Facebook Username: galeehardin@cox.net

CEA Confusion

Postby galee » Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:41 pm

In the grand scheme of things, this is just a curiosity question. Has anyone found that different labs reveal different CEA levels?

I have had 4 levels drawn in three months due to visiting two surgeons in two states, plus a post resection draw and then a draw at my new oncologist.
As follows: 8/26: 0.9, 8/30: 1.8, 10/24: 0.5, 11/22: 1.15

I was hoping to have a baseline moving forward on this journey. Not sure which to ‘use’. Again, rather curious if it’s a lab thing, not a bodily thing. Would inflammation variations make those somewhat subtle differences?

With appreciation,
Lee
47 year old, Female
8/15/2019 Colonoscopy due to blood in bowels
8/20/2019 Pathology 3cm Adenocarcinoma
Recto-Sigmoid junction, 12 cm from anal verge
G2
MSS
BRAF, KRAS, NRAS Not Detected
CEA 1.8
9/23/2019 sigmoid & rectum colectomy plus left salpingo-oophorectomy, small intestine resection & appendectomy
9/30/2019 Pathology: T2N0M0, moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma (2.8cm), margins uninvolved

J-man
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:14 am

Re: CEA Confusion

Postby J-man » Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:04 pm

The test labs should quote their reference ranges along with the measured values.
Different labs ( demographic regions etc.) can have different "normal" ranges AND there are a number of different test methodologies, each having their own range of normals etc.
Trends are important, in that some patients will show typically low values but a percentage increase regardless of absolute value, would require a closer look by the oncologists. Some folks who do not have typical responses of CEA ( not a marker for them ) would use trends and other markers to help clarify their situations.

Active inflammation anywhere in the body, especially the chest/lungs, can cause CEA elevations not cancer related.

HTH !

Punky44
Posts: 437
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:29 pm

Re: CEA Confusion

Postby Punky44 » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:51 pm

Yes! My mom’s always vary among the three places she gets it drawn (regular doctor; chemo hospital; Mayo.

I think it’s the same for any bloodwork really.
Caregiver to my amazing mom (68)
10/1/18 DX with rectal cancer; CEA 17
T3N2M0
Total neoadjuvant therapy:
8 rounds Folfox 11/5/18 - 2/11/19
Short course radiation 3/14/19 - 3/20/19
Robotically assisted laparoscopic LAR 3/21/19
Pathology report says yT2N0M0 with 0/38 nodes
CEA 2.1; 1.9; 2.6; 2.8
6/28/19 Reversal and port out
10/22/19: CT showed new nodules
1/28/20: CT showed nodules shrinking

Me: 34, first colonoscopy 11/16/18—normal! Come back in 5 years.

radnyc
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:32 pm

Re: CEA Confusion

Postby radnyc » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:26 pm

Your CEA well within the normal range, some of us dream of a CEA of 1. On the other hand CEA may not be an accurate marker for you as it was way low when you were diagnosed. In that case I’d be more concerned with good scans than with good bloodwork.
DX Jan '10, at 47
Feb - colon resection - 2/17 nodes
April - liver mets - Stage 4
3 months Folfox chemotherapy
August '10 liver resection and HAI pump
7 months chemo FUDR HAI and Folfiri systemic
NED since August 2010
Last treatment April '11
HAI Pump removed Dec '15

Rock_Robster
Posts: 474
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:27 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: CEA Confusion

Postby Rock_Robster » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:33 pm

Firstly, yes - usually by 1-2 points for me when it was elevated. Different labs, plus things like inflammation, exercise/injury, and smoking can affect it.

Secondly, there are at least 2 different test methods in common use - Roche and Bayer-Siemens. These can give slightly different results with different reference ranges.

Finally, as others have said - there are all very low results. My lab doesn’t even report below 2 (just “<2”) as it’s not clinically relevant usually, and I’m not sure how accurate the decimal is that low.

Anyway, looks like all good news to me!

Cheers
Rob
Male 38; Australia
10/2018 Dx 3.5cm RC adenocarcinoma, 12cm from AV
Mod diff, EMVI+ LVI+. 4 liver mets
pT3N1aM1a; Stage IVa. MSS, NRAS (G13R)
CEA: Oct-18= 12; Nov-18= 14, Mar-19= 2.4, Aug-19 <2.0, Mar-20=2.2
11/18- FOLFOX x6
3/19- Liver resection
5/19- 25 x pelvic VMAT radiation; complete metabolic response
07/19- ULAR (robot), temp ileo, 1/27 LN
08/19- Missed a liver spot
08-11/19- FOLFOX x1, FOLFOXIRI x1, FOLFIRI x5
12/19- Liver resection #2
02/20- Ileostomy reversed
03/20- PET & MRI = NED!

galee
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:44 pm
Facebook Username: galeehardin@cox.net

Re: CEA Confusion

Postby galee » Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:31 pm

I sincerely appreciate everyone’s input. The one thing I have found comforting in this support group is the honesty, knowledge & kindness. I hope to return that grace in some way.

When I was debating wether to even ask or not, I knew I’d receive some insight. Thank you for sharing.

I don’t need to get caught up in numbers, as they don’t define my journey. Too much time to over think these days on the porcelain throne...

With gratitude,
Lee
47 year old, Female
8/15/2019 Colonoscopy due to blood in bowels
8/20/2019 Pathology 3cm Adenocarcinoma
Recto-Sigmoid junction, 12 cm from anal verge
G2
MSS
BRAF, KRAS, NRAS Not Detected
CEA 1.8
9/23/2019 sigmoid & rectum colectomy plus left salpingo-oophorectomy, small intestine resection & appendectomy
9/30/2019 Pathology: T2N0M0, moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma (2.8cm), margins uninvolved


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