What causes fluctuating CEA levels in a colon cancer patient?

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Posted on Thu, 18 Jun 2015 in General Health
Question: What Can 1 cea rise after round 1 and cea drop after round 2 of chemotherapy mean ?for metastic colon cancer .
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 7 minutes later
Brief Answer:
It means the chemo is working

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome.

Thank you for writing to us.

I have gone through your query with diligence and would like you to know that I am here to help. It is very common for the CEA to rise after the first round of chemo, I have noticed this in many patients. This actually takes place due to cancer cell death, resulting in further release of cancer cells into the blood stream. It is a good sign and marks effective use of chemotherapy.

But after the second round of chemo, the chemo starts working and causes a regression in the cancer resulting in lowering of CEA levels.

I hope you find my response helpful. Please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications, I am always here to help.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Shoaib Khan 5 hours later
Have u seen cases where it drops at round 2 and goes up again at round 3?

Can anything else explain the drop apart from cancer cells dying ??
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 8 hours later
Brief Answer:
Personally have not, but it is possible; I don't think there can be another

Detailed Answer:
Hello once again sir.

Rarely does this happen, but if it does then it is has to do with the chemo being provided. Either an insufficient dose was provided or the cancer is progressing. I have personally not seen such cases with chemo use, as chemotherapy and radiotherapy is a whole different department where I work.

The drop is a good sign so far, and I do not think there can be any other explanation for it. Whenever a drop is seen, it is a good sign meaning the cancer cells are dying.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Shoaib Khan 17 minutes later
Prob is my dad in hosp as he had fever . They found bowel inflammation . Mud he's on antibiotic . But he got real appetite issues just don't wana eat and lost over a stone in 8 weeks .if chemo worked would he not feel better ?

And he's got lot of fatigue ans keep gettibg dehydrated ?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 10 hours later
Brief Answer:
Unfortunately all this is expected with colon cancer

Detailed Answer:
Hello once again.

All this is expected with colon cancer. The colon is part of the digestive tract, and the chemotherapy only help to prevent cancer progression; but the chemo along with the cancer itself has an impact on the individual.

Causing almost immediate weight loss, loss of appetite and so on. All these symptoms cannot be used as an indicative of whether the chemo was effective or not. These symptoms and signs are expected whether the chemo worked or not, this is the sad truth.

I wish you and your father lots of luck and hope and pray things turn out for the best for him, and nothing less. Please do not hesitate to write back to me for any further clarifications, I am always here to help.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Shoaib Khan 56 minutes later
I know ur a dr but do you think we better of trying natural treatments XXXXXXX vitamin c infussions , cannabis oil ?we got scan report today which showed no new mets but increase in size in old mets
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 8 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Please try what you wish, I do not discourage it, but don't discontinue chemo

Detailed Answer:
Hi.

Honestly speaking, being a doctor I should not support any other treatments as I have enough and more proof of them being ineffective, but I never discourage any of my patient's kin from trying whatever they wish to try. But my only request would be not to discontinue the chemotherapy.

The chemo has kept from preventing further growth of mets, which is reducing progression of the cancer and that is good news. So if you wish to add all the other therapies, please do, but do not discontinue the chemo and other allopathic methods.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Shoaib Khan 7 minutes later
Sorry I typed wrong . What has happened is the existing liver mets have increased in size . I don't know how much .

There are no new mets .

So I dont understand why the cea dropped from 80 to 55? So this chemo not worked right ?csn I send I reports ?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 33 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Yes, pls attach them to our discussion sir

Detailed Answer:
Hello once again.

We cannot be sure about whether the chemo being effective or not. The drop in CEA levels is a good sign and could probably be because the cancer cells are being killed, which prevents new mets from forming.

Continue with the chemo and it might just help in reducing the size of the existing cancer sites as well. Do not discontinue the chemo sir.

Yes, you can attach the reports to our discussion sir, I can review them and get back to you.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Shoaib Khan 48 minutes later
Please see attached all 3 reports

Most recent in may does not mention the other liver lesions
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 15 hours later
Brief Answer:
Only one report attached 4 times, shows progression of cancer

Detailed Answer:
Hello once again sir.

Thank you for the reports.

Please see all the attached images, there is only one report that has been attached 4 times, I have gone through it and I am guessing it is the most recent one which was conducted after the chemo cycles, and yes there is unfortunate disease progression.

If you wish to try other treatment options you can go ahead with them, but it is my request to not discontinue the chemotherapy at this point in time.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Shoaib Khan

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

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