CEA Quesition

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Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:21 pm

CEA Quesition

Postby wife2jeff » Sat Feb 22, 2020 7:45 pm

My husband is nearing the end of his chemo, 2 left. So excited for him. He was unable to do the oxalilplatin, he did half dose once and couldn't do it again.
I have a question about the CEA, when he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer his cea was 4.6, a couple months after his surgery it was .7, he just had it checked again and it is 1. Is there anything to be concerned about?

Posts: 507
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:27 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: CEA Quesition

Postby Rock_Robster » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:27 pm

I don’t often make definitive statements here but I think the short answer is no, it isn’t anything to worry about. 1 is a very low CEA; probably lower than many of the population without cancer. A single increase of 0.3 is not consequential by itself. I believe one guideline is to investigate 3 increases in a row; and/or any increase that takes it above 5.0.

Also, CEA whilst on chemo can jump around as well due to the treatment effects.

Congrats on almost finishing chemo!

Good luck,
38M Australia
10/2018 Dx 3.5cm RC adenocarcinoma, 12cm high
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, May-20=1.9, Jun-20=2.1
11/18 FOLFOX x6
3/19 Liver resect
5/19 25x pelvic VMAT radiation; complete met. response
07/19 Robot ULAR w ileo, 1/27 LN+
08/19 Found liver spot
12/19 Liver resect #2
02/20 Ileo reversed
03/20 NED (PET+MRI)
06/20 NED (CT+MRI)
07/20 Clear scope

Posts: 290
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:26 am

Re: CEA Quesition

Postby JJH » Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:43 am

Some info on CEA elevations and rate-of-change of CEA:



I would say that with a CEA so low and within normal range there is probably no cause for worry right now. However, there is one thing you could do at this point in time that would help in interpretation, and that is to look closely at your report and see which assay method is being used to test for CEA and what its normal range is. It makes a difference. You need to know whether it is the Roche system, or the Bayer-Siemens system, or some other system because they all have different normal ranges:

"The darkest hour is just before the dawn" - Thomas Fuller (1650)

michelle c
Posts: 1898
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:58 am

Re: CEA Quesition

Postby michelle c » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:43 am

No!! No need to worry at all. It is normal to fluctuate. My onc told me that if I had blood drawn in the morning and again in the afternoon, the result would more than likely be different. Mine fluctuated between 0.7 and 1.6 or so.
25 May 09 Dx with CC (sigmoid colon) 2 days after my 44th b'day
CEA prior to surgery 4.7
3 Jun 09 LAR - Stage III 3/10 lymph nodes
6 Jul - 10 Dec 09 12 cycles FOLFIRI
Genetic testing - inconclusive for Lynch
Jul 12 port removed & hernia repair

Deb m
Posts: 558
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:08 am

Re: CEA Quesition

Postby Deb m » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:25 pm

my husbands fluctuated from 2.4 to 5.7. They monitored him for 5 years. He has been cancer free for 9 years now. I wouldn't worry.

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