CEA, what is it mean??

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CEA, what is it mean??

by allison30 on Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:00 AM

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My mom was just dx with colon cancer and her CEA was 4.5. They said normal is 3.5. If the CEA is high does that mean her cancer has metasizes? She's getting her PET scan today. Thanks

RE: CEA, what is it mean??

by jcr65566 on Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:00 AM

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On 9/5/2008 allison30 wrote:

My mom was just dx with colon cancer and her CEA was 4.5. They said normal is 3.5. If the CEA is high does that mean her cancer has metasizes? She's getting her PET scan today. Thanks

 

Hi Alison sorry your mum has colon cancer  I had a lot of PET scans I finily put a stop to it as I develiped a rash on my lower back for three month it only went away after I stop the pet scands. CEA stands for carcino embryonic antigen its a protein that is found in developing tissues of babies. By the time a baby is born, detectable levels in the blood disappear. it it also use as a tumor marker
it a The level of CEA in the blood does not accurately reflect tumour size, however on initial testing, patients with smaller and early-stage tumours are likely to have low, if not normal, CEA levels, while patients with more advanced tumours, or tumours that have spread throughout the body, are likely to have initially high CEA levels. When CEA levels decrease to "normal" levels after therapy, it means that the CEA-producing tumour has been removed. A steadily rising CEA level may be the first sign that the cancer has returned. smokers tend to have higher CEA levels than non-smokers. hope this helps cheers Ray

RE: CEA, what is it mean??

by Bonzonie on Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:00 AM

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No it doesn't mean that it has metastasized, nor does it mean it has not metastasized.   What it is, is a tumor marker that with other factors can be used to estimate the stage and extent of disease or "tumor load."  Once a base line is established and treatment begins a decrease is a positive indicator that treatment is working and an increase is a negative indicator. 

Your mom's is slightly elevated but it doesn't mean much in isolation from a lot of other facts.  With that said, if it has metastasized and she were being evaluated for surgical treatment of metastases this level of CEA would probably be viewed as a positive prognostic indicator.

Let's hope it hasn't metastasized but if it has don't let it knock you off balance.  There are a lot new treaments, a lot of long time survivors, and yes, more and more of people getting cured even after a metastasis.

Bonnie

RE: CEA, what is it mean??

by allison30 on Sun Sep 07, 2008 12:00 AM

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Thank you so much. You really helped explain it!!

RE: CEA, what is it mean??

by Mousey on Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:00 AM

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There is some info on CEA that I haven't been able to find (google) anywhere: How does the CEA value grow? I have understood that the normal CEA value is between 0 and 5. Some people consider values such as 27 very high. Some are truly panicing at 250. But what about the CEA values of over 3000, over 4000, over 6000, even over 9000 you sometimes see...?? I know some values grow exponentially (20, 40, 80, 160, 320, 640, 1280 etc), but how does CEA value grow??

RE: CEA, what is it mean??

by KarynM on Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:00 AM

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My Mom's CEA done after EUS and a sample taken from a tumor and not blood was 4000.  Surgeon said under 200 was normal.  He said not to panic becasue not all tumor markers are relevant.
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