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Doctor insights on: Rising Cea Levels Colon Cancer

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Colon cancer stage 3b but after surgery CEA level dropped from 13 to 1.8 what does it mean?

Colon cancer stage 3b but after surgery CEA level dropped from 13 to 1.8 what does it mean?

Tumor markers: Cea is a tumor marker it does not occur with all colon cancers but the fact that it dropped so abruptly is a positive sign. The marker has the ability to be used to monitor for recurrence. This does by no means indicates you are done. There are a number of treatments for colon cancer and you should recruit the serviceces of a board certified medical oncologist for an opinion on tx options. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,311 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Cea is rising as soon as started irinotecan for colon cancer. Primary already removed in march . Then found a liver met and node. Cea now 10. ?

Cea is rising as soon as started irinotecan for colon cancer. Primary already removed in march . Then found a liver met and node. Cea now 10. ?

Disease progression: This does not necessarily mean that the chemotherapy is not working. You do need to be aware of the long-term outcome. My hope is that the patient will still get several more good years. If this is you, then you have a right to know the likely effects of whatever treatments you are offered. ...Read more

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Colon cancer patient . Cea rising on irinotecan . It was started in oct when CEA was 8. Dec cea-9, jan CEA 10. Is this treatment failure ?

Colon cancer patient . Cea rising on irinotecan . It was started in oct when CEA was 8. Dec cea-9, jan CEA 10. Is this treatment failure ?

Not necessarily: Chemotherapy can cause the CEA to rise when started. In addition, that is not a significant rise to make me concerned. Also, one wants to see a trend. Meaning, 8, 10, 15, 20 before one thinks failure. In addition, don't treat a number, treat what can be seen on the CT scan. Hope this helps. ...Read more

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My CEA test was a 3. What should I do? I had colon cancer in 1997?

CEA of 3: is in normal range. IF you have been getting regular checkups yearly and colonoscopies, you don't need to do anything more. Just follow the recommendations for your follow ups and colonoscopies provided by your Oncologist/Colorectal surgeon/gastroenterologist. ...Read more

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What do you suggest if my CEA test was a 3. should I do something else . I had colon cancer in 1997?

What do you suggest if my CEA test was a 3. should I do something else . I had colon cancer in 1997?

Chill: Three is normal, my friend. Colon cancer would be unlikely to relapse after 15 years plus. Of course, you could develop another colon cancer so you need to keep your follow ups with your oncologist and get your colonoscopies religiously. Live healthy and if you smoke, quit (that will increase the CEA, by the way). ...Read more

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My brother is recovering from colon cancer of 2 years ago. His CEA count has gone from 5.2 to 9.7 to 19.8 in the last 6months. Is there a likelihood that cancer is back?

My brother is recovering from colon cancer of 2 years ago. His CEA count has gone from 5.2 to 9.7 to 19.8 in the last 6months. Is there a likelihood that cancer is back?

Back most likely : With a rise of the cea level well above the normal level, the cancer is back or has spread to other organs or a new primary has formed. His physician/surgeon should immediately start a search for the tumor as some recurrences or new tumors can be removed or treated with chemotherapy. He will need studies such as a chest x-ray, ct of chest, abdomen. & pelvis, colonoscopy and possible pet scan. ...Read more

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Are cea markers reliable for metastic colon cancer ?

Are cea markers reliable for metastic colon cancer ?

Depending how used: CEA first identified in 1965 by Phil Gold and Samuel O. Freedman in human colon cancer extracts. Thought to be valuable for dx colorectal Ca but the glycoprotein is also expressed in inflamed tissue so that smoking and enema can cause rise. Best used for monitoring so that if present in primary and rises it represents treatment failure and if diminishes during treatment it represents a response. ...Read more

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Disease progression despite the drop in cea - is this possible ? Met colon cancer

Disease progression despite the drop in cea - is this possible ? Met colon cancer

No: The use of tumor markers has been approved for monitoring only. This holds true for the CEA's and Carbohyrate monoclonals such as Ca 19.9 and Ca 125. This is due to the fact that they are also affected by inflammatory changes as well as tumors arising in glandular tissue. If a dx of Ca is well established and the patient is treated with chemo, a drop in tumor marker level means response. ...Read more

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Could use your help docs! my CEA test was a 3. Should I do something else? I had colon cancer in 1997?

Could use your help docs! my CEA test was a 3. Should I do something else? I had colon cancer in 1997?

First i would: Repeat the cea, if higher need to discuss with your oncologist or a colorectal surgeon or GI doctor to begin workup of recurrent colon cancer. Cea of 3 is not abnormal. You should have been getting colonoscopies regularly since your original diagnosis. Pet/ct scans may be necessary. But if cea is 3 on repeat i would not be concerned. Just stay on 5year colonoscopy schedule. ...Read more

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Can 1 drop in cea at round 2 of chemotherapy suggest anything . Drop from 65 to 55. ? Metastic colon cancer pt

Can 1 drop in cea at round 2 of chemotherapy suggest anything . Drop from
65 to 55. ? Metastic colon cancer pt

Cea levels : Oncologist use CEA markers to assess the success in cancer chemotherapy regimens. A drop in CEA after chemotherapy is a positive sign. This means the chemotherapy is working. Have a great day! ...Read more

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What can this mean . Before chemotherapy cea was 65, after 1 round 80 and after 2 round 55 for metastic colon cancer ?

What can this mean . Before chemotherapy cea was 65, after 1 round 80 and after 2 round 55 for metastic colon cancer ?

CEA: In general, rise in CEA in patients with metastatic colon cancer represents the disease progression. However, CEA surge phenomena was also described in patients who responded to the initial intensive chemotherapy. Immediate rise in CEA is usually not related to the disease progression. CEA surge is defined by >20% increase from its baseline. ...Read more

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What can this cea pattern mean on chemotherapy for colon cancer mets 65 before chemo, 80 after round 1, 55 after round 2?

What can this cea pattern mean on chemotherapy for colon cancer mets
65 before chemo, 80 after round 1, 55 after round 2?

It's improving!: All it really means is the CEA is going in the right direction ... falling after chemotherapy. You can not reliably speculate on what the number changes might say about the magnitude of improvement. There is too much individual variability and unpredictability for that. I would be pleased that these changes have occurred. Best wishes as you continue your treatment:) ...Read more

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If cea has dropped after 2 round of chemotherapy from 80 to 55 is that a good drop ? Or should it b more . Metastic colon cancer

Slight response: A tumor marker like CEA should only be employed for monitoring. During treatment if the tumor marker drops it is a suggestion that there is a response to treatment. If it rises then the tumor is probably progressing. This however should be confirmed by scan. A more significant finding however is not just a lowering of the marker level burt a return to normal. Chemo here should be continued. ...Read more

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A CEA rise upon starting irinotecan in person with colon cancer suggest treatment not working ? Cea was Oct 8, dec 9, jan 10.

A CEA rise upon starting irinotecan in person with colon cancer suggest treatment not working ? Cea was
Oct 8, dec 9, jan 10.

Very good question!: The answer's somewhat debated. 1st, CEA levels even in the presence of cancer r somewhat variable, so my 1st question is *how much* did the values rise? An increase of 1 mcg/L may not b significant, though an increase of 100 mcg/L is definitely so. Also, levels increase if u r around cigarette smoke. Lastly, CEA could be released from cancer cells as they die. TTYD (Oncologist) to interpret numbrs ...Read more

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Do these CEA readings mean chemotherapy not working in a colon cancer pt August 9.8, October 8, dec 9, jan 10. Met to the liver ?

Stable: Ams an oncologist I would say those levels are stable. Follow your oncologist advice and do not stop chemo based on your CEA levels, they look good. ...Read more

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In colon cancer patients, y do some hae higher cea"s ( like in the 100,s) and some don't ? My dad's CEA stands at 10 at present while on irinotecan

In colon cancer patients, y do some hae higher cea"s ( like in the 100,s) and some don't ? My dad's CEA stands at 10 at present while on irinotecan

Change in level: Changes in the level of CEA are more useful for monitoring the course of disease than one reading. There is wide variation in CEA levels in patients with colon as well as other cancers. ...Read more

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My mom had colon cancer nearly 12 years ago.Has been cancer free since surgery and chemo. CEA is now 3.7., highest it's been since then.Is this bad?

My mom had colon cancer nearly 12 years ago.Has been cancer free since surgery and chemo. CEA is now 3.7., highest it's been since then.Is this bad?

Not necessarily: when the colon cancer comes back , it usually comes back within the first 5 years from the diagnosis. it is unlikely that the colon cancer comes back after 12 years. in addition, CEA is not very sensitive nor specific for colon cancer. other things like cigarette smoking, other liver problems etc can increase CEA.if she smokes, makes sure to encourage her to quit. she need to follow up with her MD ...Read more

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My father had colon cancer 3 years ago and we fear it has returned and mets already. Tests are still being run but CEA was over 10. Is this a bad sign?

Likely to be: Cea or carcinoembryonic antigen, is a tumor marker usually associated with colon cancer, but can be seen elevated in other tumors. When associated with colon cancer, it is useful to follow serially after resection or to follow as part of treatment. If the value is normal at one point and becomes elevated, then a careful search for recurrence is indicated. ...Read more

Dr. Andrew Seibert
13 doctors shared insights

Colon (Definition)

The colon is another term for the large intestine. This is the final portion of the digestive system, responsible for absorbing water and storing stool before evacuation. It is divided into sections described as cecum; ascending, transverse, descending and ...Read more


Dr. Louis Gallia
12 doctors shared insights

Colonic (Definition)

This is a combining term referring to some condition, treatment or disease of the colon. Such as colonic enema, colonic ...Read more