Welcome to the forum. Here is some information on CEA. A 2019 overview of CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen) https://www.verywellhealth.com/carcinoembryonic-antigen-cea-797561
Some false positives for CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen) elevationhttps://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?t=53135&p=419830#p419830Some previous CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen) threadshttps://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=65518&p=508688#p508688Rule-of-thumb for CEA elevation (stable trend)https://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=65751&p=509756#p509756
"In addition, CEA levels may not reflect what is happening with a tumor at the current time.
As cancer cells die, CEA is released into the bloodstream and levels can remain elevated for a few weeks after treatment, even if a tumor is responding well.
For example, CEA results may be very high during and after chemotherapy".
Note: The rule of thumb indicates " 5 ng/mL – 9 ng/mL : slighty above normal – most likely a benign inflammation"
, however, CEA needs to be checked again to see if it is still rising and if so, how fast, and then another CT scan will eventually be needed in about three months' time to see if anything new shows up. They will not initiate any new treatment until they have positive evidence that this rise is likely due to cancer, since CEA elevations can be due to so many other things, and this elevation might just be a temporary, isolated spike due, for example, to a reaction to a Covid-19 jab, to a recent bad chest cold or bad case of gastroenteritis, or any other recent bad infection. Also there is the potential problem that the CT scanner at your hospital might not be sensitive enough to see small metastases or to see thin metastatic scum along the surface of the abdomen (peritoneum). See post below about CT scanner slices:https://coloncancersupport.colonclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=65943&p=510735#p510735
So, what I would recommend is the following:
- First, get a followup CEA test done at the same lab at least 3 or 4 weeks from the date of last one. This is to see if the 7.0 ng/ml value was a true elevation or just a spike due to some temporary condition. If the follow-up CEA is now at the same level or even higher, then this could indicate a real increase of unknown origin.
- If the follow-up CEA is still high and increasing, then try to get a new CT scan done (with contrast) at a center that has a high-definition CT scanner with more slices than what your original CT scanner has. This is so that you might be able to detect very small metastases, or peritoneal metastatic slime at an earlier stage than if you just waited around until your local scan center is ready to to do another scan.
- The above steps might not be covered by insurance or supported by your local hospital procedure, so you might have to pay for them yourself.
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