What level of CEA after colon cancer surgery would be concerning?
It depends on pre surgery values. If they are elevated (>5), then the value should drop to <5 post surgery. Any elevation found on serial evaluation (not just one value) indicates possible progression of disease.
In some individuals and in some sub types of colon cancer, the values are NOT elevated in pre surgical state. In such cases, they are unlikely to rise post surgery even with disease progression.
Overall, high values (>10 or 15) after having shown low values post therapy, are significant. These are of concern when serial evaluations show progressive rise in titres. Remember that smoking confounds the values.
He is a smoker
You can wait
There is a small increase. However, like our heart rate or blood pressure or blood sugar, these levels are dynamic. A persistent serial rise is of concern. Secondly, the value is quite less.
I think you can wait. As I told you, single value of increase does not signify anything. Since you haven't had a pre op value, there is none to compare. I think a repeat value after a couple of months could help you decide whether to proceed with further tests or wait and watch.
I understand that you are over anxious. A clinical average pulse rate is 72/min. That does not mean that a pulse rate of 80/min or pulse rate of 60/min in an otherwise normal individual is ABNORMAL!!!
There is NO particular value. Above 5 in smokers is considered elevated. But again DO NOT GO by single value. Rising titres are of concern. Values above 10 or 15 are of real concern.
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