Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

154 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

What does CEA level at 6 indicate?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Robert Galamaga

Oncologist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 2617 Questions

default
Posted on Sat, 9 Aug 2014 in General Health
Question: Hi my dad had colon cancer surgery in march- he was a dukes c1.

However his cea in may was 3, but 4 in XXXXXXX and went to 6 in july.

He is on xeloda since three weeks ago as initially he was refusing chemo . He is a smoker but even still that cause a rise month by month. What do we do n does this mean mets??
doctor
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 24 hours later
Brief Answer:
Thanks for the query

Detailed Answer:
Hello again,

Xeloda tends to be very well tolerated as far as chemo goes. Hopefully he can complete a full recommended course.

I understand your concern about the CEA. at a level of 6 this does not confirm metastatic disease but we do see a trend here which is somewhat concerning. His doctor may consider requesting some type of imaging evaluation in the next few weeks or months to see if there is any evidence of disease elsewhere in the body.

Continue to see the oncologist for followup visits and follow recommendations regarding continued treatment.

Thanks again for sharing your health care concern.

Dr. Galamaga
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Robert Galamaga 14 minutes later
He initially did not want chemo . Started xeloda 3 weeks ago n seems to be tolerating it well. .

But could xeloda not b working due to cea rise?

If not mets, then what else could b happening? Could there be cells left behind from surgery?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 days later
Brief Answer:
Followup

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for the additional question.

It is always possible that a very microscopic amount of cancer might be left behind after surgery which is generally why we advocate for chemotherapy to help decrease the risk of recurrent disease and improve the likelihood of long-term remission.

I think what is very important regarding tumor markers is establishing a trend. If the trend is slowly increasing this is more concerning that there might be some microscopic cells left behind. It does not necessarily mean that chemotherapy is not working. It takes some time for chemotherapy to take a full effect which I am sure the oncologist has reviewed with you.

I do not necessarily think there is any immediate need to change the course of therapy. I would sit down and talk to the oncologist about how he feels about additional diagnostic studies including laboratory tests or scans.

It sounds like he is getting excellent treatment. Please feel free to touch base with us any time again.

Dr. G
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Robert Galamaga 37 minutes later
The fact that the cea has risen from may till now from 3 to 6, does this then indicate a steady rise?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 3 days later
Brief Answer:
Followup

Detailed Answer:
thanks for the follow up.

I certainly understand your concern with the increase in the level of the protein. I usually request at least three time points to compare and try to establish a trend. I think another level in the next few weeks would be helpful. If it continues to rise then the doctor might request some additional type of workout.

Thank you again as always for sharing your healthcare concern with us.

Dr. G
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
premium_optimized

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Treatment/Therapy
Medical Procedures

Recent questions on  Chemotherapy

doctor1 MD

I am asking this question for my friend. She had chemotherapy two years ago for a very invasive form of breast cancer. For the past six months her incontinence has steadily worsened. She has to change her sheets every night and is exhausted. She is on a fentanyl patch for chronic neuropathic pain as well as anti-depressants. She does not have high blood pressure, but now is experiencing shortness of brearth. She is not satisfied with the care she has been receiving from her physicians and does not know what to do? What would you recommend? Thank you very much.

doctor1 MD

Hi, I am a 55year old Man resontly I have had trouble ejaculating,because it has happened a couple of times before to me i sort of think about that and I start to get hot and that is the end for me. Is there any advise you can give.Many thanks.Peter Three years ago I had an operation for colon cancer .Have gone through chemotherapy .and have had the all clear on the thre times i had blood test and scans.height 6.2 weight 15 half stones.

doctor1 MD

Hellow sir this is sunil my wife is having vitiligo from last 13 yrs, she has been treated with some chemotherapy. now after long time the spots are spreading, now we are planned to going for stem cell therapy...........plz tel me this will give me complete treatment for vitiligo

doctor1 MD

Nonhodgkin's Lymphoma patient just finished last chemotherapy 10 days ago now presents with swollen big toe draining clear fluid. After soaking foot in epson salt noted small white worms. What needs to be done?
Suspect this was occurring severals days prior but do not know this informtion

doctor1 MD

My father is currently under going cancer treatment. Below is a brief summary of his ailment and the treatments undergone so far: Diagnosed with CA colon (2013) resected and followed by 12 cycles of FOLFOX . Solitary Lung Met after 1 year. Again...

doctor1 MD

This is related to my fathers cancer treamtent. Diagnosed with CA colon (2013) resected and followed by 12 cycles of FOLFOX . Solitary Lung Met after 1 year. Again resected and followed by 12 cycles of FOLFIRI. Another solitary Bone Met (8th rib...

doctor1 MD

I am male 93 years young currently under treatment for bladder cancer cancerous material removed and now I am thru thte second of the six shot weekly program. my problem now is shortness of breath . my heart dr. just completed a neucular stress...