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Dianne
@diannechildress

Posts: 6
Joined: May 31, 2017

CEA levels

Posted by @diannechildress, May 31, 2017

I was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2009. At that time they removed 1/3 of my colon. We did blood screening through the Mayo clinic and they came back that I had a predisposition for polyposis. The cancer had not gotten out of the colon area. Over the next 7 years I was having regular colonoscopies and the doctor removed polyps every time. He recommended that I have the reminder of my colon removed and attache the small intestine to the rectum. That surgery was done January 2016. Up until this surgery was done my CEA levels were in the 3-4 range. This past April I was in to my oncologist for my check-up and my level has increased to 6.1. We redid the test again in 6 weeks which was yesterday and they have increased by 0.3 to 6.4. I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem? I have had my mammogram done and it is clear, I don’t have any more colon so it can’t be colon cancer, I had a hysterectomy when I was in my 20’s so that rules out ovarian cancer. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

REPLY

Hi Dianne,
Welcome to Connect. I’m tagging a few other members who may also have experience with fluctuating CEA levels. Please meet @travelgirl @martid @ilene1 @soul @brglight @nannytart @bush @sallyg @starrlight and @joannem.

As you probably already have researched, increasingly CEA levels can mean many things. Here’s some info from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/cea/tab/test/ which states “Increased CEA levels can indicate some non-cancer-related conditions, such as inflammation, cirrhosis, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, rectal polyps, emphysema, and benign breast disease.”

Dianne, have you had an appointment with your oncologist since receiving the results of this latest test? The CEA test is only one piece of the puzzle. Your doctor will be able to give you a fuller picture of what is going on. When do you have your next appointment?

@colleenyoung @diannechildress My CEA has been staying between 1.7 and 2.4 since my colon cancer was removed b on 1/16. I was told they check the CEA as a marker but it really is not a good indicator of cancer. ..

I wish you the best sorry I couldn’t help with any additional information.

@colleenyoung

Hi Dianne,
Welcome to Connect. I’m tagging a few other members who may also have experience with fluctuating CEA levels. Please meet @travelgirl @martid @ilene1 @soul @brglight @nannytart @bush @sallyg @starrlight and @joannem.

As you probably already have researched, increasingly CEA levels can mean many things. Here’s some info from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/cea/tab/test/ which states “Increased CEA levels can indicate some non-cancer-related conditions, such as inflammation, cirrhosis, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, rectal polyps, emphysema, and benign breast disease.”

Dianne, have you had an appointment with your oncologist since receiving the results of this latest test? The CEA test is only one piece of the puzzle. Your doctor will be able to give you a fuller picture of what is going on. When do you have your next appointment?

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No but his office called today. They are going to schedule me for a CT scan just to rule out the presence of any cancer. I am scheduled for my flexoidoscopy on June 19th.

@travelgirl

@colleenyoung @diannechildress My CEA has been staying between 1.7 and 2.4 since my colon cancer was removed b on 1/16. I was told they check the CEA as a marker but it really is not a good indicator of cancer. ..

I wish you the best sorry I couldn’t help with any additional information.

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Mine hadn’t gone over 3 until I had the remaining colon removed. That is why I was questioning. I am hoping it is just something small causing this spike. Thanks for your help.

@colleenyoung

Hi Dianne,
Welcome to Connect. I’m tagging a few other members who may also have experience with fluctuating CEA levels. Please meet @travelgirl @martid @ilene1 @soul @brglight @nannytart @bush @sallyg @starrlight and @joannem.

As you probably already have researched, increasingly CEA levels can mean many things. Here’s some info from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/cea/tab/test/ which states “Increased CEA levels can indicate some non-cancer-related conditions, such as inflammation, cirrhosis, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, rectal polyps, emphysema, and benign breast disease.”

Dianne, have you had an appointment with your oncologist since receiving the results of this latest test? The CEA test is only one piece of the puzzle. Your doctor will be able to give you a fuller picture of what is going on. When do you have your next appointment?

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Thank you for your help.

We’ll be thinking of you on the 19th, Dianne. Of course, it may take some time to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. You may not get an answer on the 19th itself, but hopefully shortly thereafter.

Hi Diane
I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in jan 2015
My oncologist orders my blood work to be done every 3 weeks and always includes the CEA test as well
This number makes me very nervous but it is really only another tool and I have found other things can cause it to rise like a dental infection or even a sinus infection so I try my best not to get too anxious when there is a spike upwards
My oncologist tends to rely more on scans and blood work and my overall well being and keep me grounded to not get too excited
However a steadily increasing trend does merit attention
Keep us posted
Stay positive

Thank you so much. This does help make me feel better. I hope you are doing good. I was diagnosed in 2009 but it was only stage 2. It wasn’t out of the colon. There were two masses, one larger then the other, but they were able to remove both. None of the lymph nodes were involved. The doctor had my blood sent to the Mayo clinic for testing and genetic screening. They found that I have a predisposition for polyps. We did colonoscopies for almost 7 years and my gastroenterologist decided that we should remove the remainder of the colon to eliminate any further polyps. Every colonoscopy he was removing anywhere from 2 to 6 polyps. Thanks for your concern. I will keep everyone posted on the outcome of both the CT scan and my flexoidoscoy.

@colleenyoung

Hi Dianne,
Welcome to Connect. I’m tagging a few other members who may also have experience with fluctuating CEA levels. Please meet @travelgirl @martid @ilene1 @soul @brglight @nannytart @bush @sallyg @starrlight and @joannem.

As you probably already have researched, increasingly CEA levels can mean many things. Here’s some info from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/cea/tab/test/ which states “Increased CEA levels can indicate some non-cancer-related conditions, such as inflammation, cirrhosis, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, rectal polyps, emphysema, and benign breast disease.”

Dianne, have you had an appointment with your oncologist since receiving the results of this latest test? The CEA test is only one piece of the puzzle. Your doctor will be able to give you a fuller picture of what is going on. When do you have your next appointment?

Jump to this post

The results of my CT scan were good. There was nothing to indicate the rise in CEA levels so I go back in 3 months for recheck. The only thing they found was a kink in my intestine which could cause some problems with constipation and stomach pain. I did find out I am allergic to the dye they use for the scan. I through up and broke out in a rash on my arm and stomach. They have noted it in my chart.

@colleenyoung

Hi Dianne,
Welcome to Connect. I’m tagging a few other members who may also have experience with fluctuating CEA levels. Please meet @travelgirl @martid @ilene1 @soul @brglight @nannytart @bush @sallyg @starrlight and @joannem.

As you probably already have researched, increasingly CEA levels can mean many things. Here’s some info from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/cea/tab/test/ which states “Increased CEA levels can indicate some non-cancer-related conditions, such as inflammation, cirrhosis, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, rectal polyps, emphysema, and benign breast disease.”

Dianne, have you had an appointment with your oncologist since receiving the results of this latest test? The CEA test is only one piece of the puzzle. Your doctor will be able to give you a fuller picture of what is going on. When do you have your next appointment?

Jump to this post

Hey Dianne,
Thanks for telling us about the results of the CT scan. I was thinking about you. What a relief that the CEA levels are not on the rise. While the kink in the intestine and the allergic reaction don’t sound like fun, I’m also glad that these things were discovered now too. What can you do about the kink in the intestine causing constipation and pain? Drink more water? Modifications to your diet?

I was never diagnostic with cancer, but my S CEA level is hihg. I was beeing investigated due to family reason- too many cancer in our family. Last three years measurements: 8, 11, 15, and now after two months 15,5, all other parameters are now ok. Colonoscopy, gastroscopy, X-ray lung, ok, no pain. Now I should go for CT of the belly and mamography. If everything ok, than I am heslthy person with abnormal high parametr of S CEA. Do you have somebody experince with such as result? I only want be healthy and not beeing afraid. Thank you very much for answer.

@lenka

I was never diagnostic with cancer, but my S CEA level is hihg. I was beeing investigated due to family reason- too many cancer in our family. Last three years measurements: 8, 11, 15, and now after two months 15,5, all other parameters are now ok. Colonoscopy, gastroscopy, X-ray lung, ok, no pain. Now I should go for CT of the belly and mamography. If everything ok, than I am heslthy person with abnormal high parametr of S CEA. Do you have somebody experince with such as result? I only want be healthy and not beeing afraid. Thank you very much for answer.

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Hi @lenka, I can imagine that you're afraid. Having abnormal lab results can be scary. High CEA levels can be caused by other non-cancer conditions, such as
These can include:
– infection
– cirrhosis or other liver condition
– chronic smoking
– inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or other gastrointestinal condition
– non-cancerous breast disease

It sounds like your health care team is investigating all possibilities. That's good.

@lenka

I was never diagnostic with cancer, but my S CEA level is hihg. I was beeing investigated due to family reason- too many cancer in our family. Last three years measurements: 8, 11, 15, and now after two months 15,5, all other parameters are now ok. Colonoscopy, gastroscopy, X-ray lung, ok, no pain. Now I should go for CT of the belly and mamography. If everything ok, than I am heslthy person with abnormal high parametr of S CEA. Do you have somebody experince with such as result? I only want be healthy and not beeing afraid. Thank you very much for answer.

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Thank you very much for your answer. I know, it can ne inflamation as well. I have never smoked and I almost do not drink alcohol I do a lot of sport eat healthy food. My only trouble is, that I can not go for toalette regularly, just one it three days. Have a nice day.

@lenka I have perfect blood work. My CEA 2.2 goes up and from from 1.7 to 2.4 .. I was diagnosed with Cecum cancer an Follicular lymphoma. I don't think it can really be an indicator all the time? I been getting my blood work every 6 months for almost 3 yrs now. It always seem to be the same. Once a year now I get a CT scan. Next week is my one year check up. We shall see what results I get this time? I can report back and let you know.

@diannechildress Just checking to see how your feeling and if you have anything new you heard about your CEA?

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