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Steady rise in CEA blood levels

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Old 09-30-2010, 09:19 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Sartell, MN USA
Posts: 3
bcasey59 HB User
Unhappy Steady rise in CEA blood levels

My husband was diagnosed with rectal cancer Jan/2009 and has a colostomy bag and has been cancer free since last May/2010. His CEA blood test was 3.5. Now in July it is 10.5 and yesterday it is at 10.7.

Tomorrow he is getting a pet scan and we will get the results this coming Monday. The doctor informed us they are looking for cancer,

He is not doing well with any of this information. My question is - Is something seriously wrong?

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Old 10-01-2010, 10:53 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: outside Orlando
Posts: 63
Re: Steady rise in CEA blood levels

bcasey59, I read your post this morning and hesitated to reply, because I didn't want to scare you or act like a "know-it-all." All I have is my own experience, so I decided to tell you what a rising CEA meant for me. I am stage IV colorectal, with mets to lung. Last March I had a lung wedge resection following 6 weeks of chemo and was doing well until December when my CEA went from 1 to 8.9 in a 2 month period of time. I had an immediate PET scan which showed a local recurrence. I've just finished more chemo & radiation, plus surgery and healing nicely. Before the surgery, my CEA got up to 19.2, but 2 weeks after surgery, it was below 1. It may not mean anything for your husband, but speaking for me ... when my CEA rises, it has always turned out to be a recurrence. As you probably know, smoking can cause a variance in a CEA test, and your husbands was already 3.5. I want to add, that although this past year hasn't been a very good one, I am showing cancer free now and getting better every day. My prayers are with you & your husband. Whatever it is, is sounds like they've caught it very early.

Old 10-01-2010, 11:20 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Sartell, MN USA
Posts: 3
bcasey59 HB User
Re: Steady rise in CEA blood levels

Thank you so much for your response. We will definitely find out more early next week. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your response sounded was very positive.

After reading a lot upon CEA levels it statred to confuse me a bit. It maybe another bout of cancer and if it is, I belive it is being caught early.

Thanks again

Old 10-01-2010, 12:11 PM   #4
West Coast Girl
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 247
West Coast Girl HB User
Re: Steady rise in CEA blood levels

I think a lot depends on what ones normal CEA is and very few people know until after the fact. Mine fluctuates from 1.2 to 1.8 and my doctor says not to get excited until it hits 5 as that is what's considered normal. But it's good he's being monitored so closely.

Old 10-05-2010, 06:35 AM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Sartell, MN USA
Posts: 3
bcasey59 HB User
Re: Steady rise in CEA blood levels

We got my husbands results back from the Pet Scan and he is cancer free. The Dr will be doing another CEA test in 6 weeks and will continue to monitor the CEA level. He explained that if cancer is as small as a grain of rice it will not appear in a pet scan and that a CEA test sometimes gives a false/positive. So we are all relieved.

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