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Does increase in CEA indicate recurrent colon cancer?

DOCTOR OF THE MONTH - Apr 2014
Apr 2014
User rating for this question
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Answered by

Radiologist
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 6486 Questions
Question
With a person who had colon cancer surgery in march, does a cea rise indicate a recurrence or mets?

Readings were - may3, XXXXXXX 4 and july 6. We are v concerned .
Posted Wed, 13 Aug 2014 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Indu Kumar 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
Patient need PET scan.

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXXX
Thanks for writing to HCM

CEA level is used as a prognostic indicator and it should return to baseline after resection. However,test is not perfect.The sensitivity to detect relapse is between 58 to 89 percent and the specificity is between 75 to 98 percent.

We are more concerned about specificity.As we can see,it is 75 to 98 percent specific,so there is always the chance that the elevation is not related to recurrence.
It may be due to some other reasons.

Patient need further investigation PET scan to confirm recurrence.

You should consult your treating doctor.

Get well soon.
Hope I have answered your question.
Further queries are most welcome.

Take Care
Dr.Indu XXXXXXX
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Does increase in CEA indicate recurrent colon cancer? 9 minutes later
But in a normal person it should not rise right?my dad is a smoker but this should not make it rise should it. I know for smokers it can be up to 5. But here its gone from 3 to 6 in three months.

Could this mean mets? Ie cancer spread
 
 
Answered by Dr. Indu Kumar 14 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please find detail answer below.

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXXX
Thanks for writing back

Yes,CEA rise is such short period is not a good indicator even if he is a smoker.

He need proper work up for remaining tumour inside the body.PET scan is ideal in this case for detection of left out tumour part.

Get well soon.
Hope I have answered your question.
Further queries are most welcome.

Take Care
Dr.Indu XXXXXXX
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Does increase in CEA indicate recurrent colon cancer? 22 minutes later
But does a steady rise mean cells/ tumor?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Indu Kumar 16 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please find detail answer below.

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXXX
Thanks for writing back

Steady rise may be due to left out tumour because 100 % resection of tumour is not always possible.

Get well soon.
Hope I have answered your question.
Further queries are most welcome.

Take Care
Dr.Indu XXXXXXX
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Does increase in CEA indicate recurrent colon cancer? 53 minutes later
What would happen if bit tumor left out?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Indu Kumar 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please find detail answer below.

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXXX
Thanks for writing back

Left out tumour part is generally treated by chemotherapy/radiotherpay.

Get well soon.
Hope I have answered your question.
Further queries are most welcome.

Take Care
Dr.Indu XXXXXXX
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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