prayingforccr wrote:Oncologist was very non plussed, but unfortunately I live between scans and blood tests.
Thank you for any input.
This change sounds pretty small to me -- possibly even with the margin-of-error for the assay in question.
In any event, I think it would help to have more information in order to put everything in context, for example:
- What is the time interval between your successive scans -- every three months?
- What were your earlier CEA values, prior to the 3.3?
- What was the lowest CEA value you have ever had, and when was that?
- Which CEA assay is being used now by your lab? Roche? Bayer/Siemens? other? (should be indicated on you lab report)
- What is the normal range for CEA for non-smokers at your lab? (should be indicated on your lab report)
- What is the normal range for CEA for smokers at your lab? (should be indicated on your lab report)
- Are you a smoker or are you a non-smoker?
In general, what matters most is the rate-of-change over time (i.e., the acceleration of CEA level), so you would need to have several readings across several different time points to make an assessment of this. But this level of 3.4 ng/mL (still in the single digit range) is so small that even if it is coming from a metastasis or from several metastases, this might not be large enough to light up on a PET/CT scan or even be identifiable on a regular CT scan. At least that's my personal opinion. (I have never had a lung met, so I can't speak with any authority on this.)