Clear CT but slowly rising CEA

Please feel free to read, share your thoughts, your stories and connect with others!
Punky44
Posts: 492
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:29 pm

Clear CT but slowly rising CEA

Postby Punky44 » Mon Dec 27, 2021 6:32 pm

Hi all,

I hope everyone had a good holiday…

My mom just had her 6 month scans today at Mayo and everything looked great, but we are now noticing a pattern of slowly rising CEA—2.3, 2.4, 3, 3.1 and now 3.4. Should we be concerned about this pattern? She will be 3 years cancer free this March.
Caregiver to my amazing mom (68 at dx)
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
6/28/19 Reversal and port out
CEA 2.1; 1.9; 2.6; 2.8; 2.3; 2.4; 3.0; 3.4; 3.1; 3.4; 3.0
Latest update: 6/29/22 - Clear CT with CEA 3.0

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

Nor Cal
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2020 8:18 pm

Re: Clear CT but slowly rising CEA

Postby Nor Cal » Tue Dec 28, 2021 1:48 pm

What is the time period between tests?

Increases in CEA is always concerning, but not always a problem. Mine bounces around between 2.5 - 4.0. My onc doesn't seem all that concerned about small increases. Hopefully the next one will be down to sooth your fears.
Dx June 2020, stage IV, w liver mets in both lobes. M, age 50. Right-sided colon tumor. CEA 120.
BRAF+ TMB 5% MSS TDL1-1%
July 2020 - Present: 34 cycles chemo (All the various 5-FU regimens)
December 2020 - February 2021 Y90 Radioembolization, Chemoembolization x2

Punky44
Posts: 492
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:29 pm

Re: Clear CT but slowly rising CEA

Postby Punky44 » Tue Dec 28, 2021 2:46 pm

Nor Cal wrote:What is the time period between tests?

Increases in CEA is always concerning, but not always a problem. Mine bounces around between 2.5 - 4.0. My onc doesn't seem all that concerned about small increases. Hopefully the next one will be down to sooth your fears.


Thanks for your response. This has been over a period of 18 months. (2.3 18 months ago and draws every 3 months with the exception of this last one which was a 6 month interval, the last of which is now 3.4.)

I have a call into her oncologist to discuss if they find this to be a true “rising trend” that’s alarming or not. I would love to see a drop just to break the streak.
Caregiver to my amazing mom (68 at dx)
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
6/28/19 Reversal and port out
CEA 2.1; 1.9; 2.6; 2.8; 2.3; 2.4; 3.0; 3.4; 3.1; 3.4; 3.0
Latest update: 6/29/22 - Clear CT with CEA 3.0

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

Nor Cal
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2020 8:18 pm

Re: Clear CT but slowly rising CEA

Postby Nor Cal » Tue Dec 28, 2021 3:07 pm

Punky44 wrote:
Nor Cal wrote:What is the time period between tests?

Increases in CEA is always concerning, but not always a problem. Mine bounces around between 2.5 - 4.0. My onc doesn't seem all that concerned about small increases. Hopefully the next one will be down to sooth your fears.


Thanks for your response. This has been over a period of 18 months. (2.3 18 months ago and draws every 3 months with the exception of this last one which was a 6 month interval, the last of which is now 3.4.)

I have a call into her oncologist to discuss if they find this to be a true “rising trend” that’s alarming or not. I would love to see a drop just to break the streak.


A 50% increase over 18 months (while peaking just above normal) doesn't seem like a huge deal to me, though that is just based on my own CEA trends. On my most recent scan I went from 2.5 - 4 over a six-week period (testing every 2 weeks) right before the scan and there was nothing visible, and now we're back down to 2.8. I do understand looking at blood tests and cursing every time the number goes up, so I feel your concern. Let us know what the onc says.
Dx June 2020, stage IV, w liver mets in both lobes. M, age 50. Right-sided colon tumor. CEA 120.
BRAF+ TMB 5% MSS TDL1-1%
July 2020 - Present: 34 cycles chemo (All the various 5-FU regimens)
December 2020 - February 2021 Y90 Radioembolization, Chemoembolization x2

Punky44
Posts: 492
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:29 pm

Re: Clear CT but slowly rising CEA

Postby Punky44 » Wed Jun 29, 2022 11:40 pm

Just wanted to give an update!

CEA came back down to 3 at today’s appt! The rising streak has been broken! Very happy for my mom tonight!
Caregiver to my amazing mom (68 at dx)
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
6/28/19 Reversal and port out
CEA 2.1; 1.9; 2.6; 2.8; 2.3; 2.4; 3.0; 3.4; 3.1; 3.4; 3.0
Latest update: 6/29/22 - Clear CT with CEA 3.0

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

DarknessEmbraced
Posts: 3701
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:54 pm
Facebook Username: Riann Fletcher
Location: New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Clear CT but slowly rising CEA

Postby DarknessEmbraced » Sat Jul 02, 2022 7:26 am

That's wonderful news! :)
Diagnosed 10/28/14, age 36
Colon Resection 11/20/14, LAR (no illeo)
Stage 2a colon cancer, T3NOMO
Lymph-vascular invasion undetermined
0/22 lymph nodes
No chemo, no radiation
Clear Colonoscopy 04/29/15
NED 10/20/15
Ischemic Colitis 01/21/16
NED 11/10/16
CT Scan moved up due to high CEA 08/21/17
NED 09/25/17
NED 12/21/18
Clear colonoscopy 09/23/19
Clear 5 year scans 11/21/19- Considered cured! :)

I_will_fight
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:38 pm

Re: Clear CT but slowly rising CEA

Postby I_will_fight » Tue Jul 05, 2022 8:35 am

Good to hear that!
46 yo male Spain
06/20 - 6cm T3N0M0 CC splenic flex
No liver mets, 3 and 4 mm lung dots (unlikely to be mets)
lymp 0/37
MSH6- other MMR+
KRAS mt G13D
V/LNI absent
PNI present
07/20 - hemicol surg, 13cm clear margins, optimistic surgn.
08/20 - CAPOX regime, 4 cycles.
11/20 - CAPOX completed. CAT scan: lesion in liver, suspect hemoangioma, no changes lung dots.
12/20 - Clean colonoscopy
02/21 - MRI liver lesion is nonspecific, stable.

Koreysue
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:36 pm

Re: Clear CT but slowly rising CEA

Postby Koreysue » Tue Jul 05, 2022 4:47 pm

Awesome news!
Dx: 6/2017 stage 3 colon cancer
Sigmoid, 2 nodes
CEA at dx: 6.1
Sigmoid Colectomy/folfox (chemo complete January 31, 2018)
CEA 4/2018: 2.4
CEA 7/2018: 3.7
Colonoscopy 8/2018 clean
PET scan 8/20/18 NED
CEA 11/2018: 3.8
CEA 2/2019: 3.2
CT NED 6/18/2019 / CEA : 3.4
CEA 10/21/19: 3.2
CEA 3/9/20: 3.8
CT NED /CEA 6/17/20: 3.8
CEA 11/4/20 4.6 <——— whyyyy? (will retest in a few weeks)
CT NED 12/1/20 CEA: 3.5
CEA 5/21 4.2
CEA 10/21 3.4
colonoscopy 10/2021 10mm polyp
CEA 4/22 3.7
CEA 7/22 3.8


Return to “Colon Talk - Colon cancer (colorectal cancer) support forum”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Claudine, Markdale and 6 guests