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What level of CEA after colon cancer surgery would be concerning?

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Posted on Sat, 26 Jul 2014
Question: What kind of cea levels after colon cancer surgery would b concerning ?

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Answered by Dr. K. Harish (48 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
High values

Detailed Answer:
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.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Follow up: Dr. K. Harish (14 minutes later)
Pre surgery the test was never done. However post surgery it was 3 in may and then 4 in XXXXXXX so it was risen in 1 month whicj seems concerning.

He is a smoker
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Answered by Dr. K. Harish (8 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
You can wait

Detailed Answer:
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!!!


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Follow up: Dr. K. Harish (2 days later)
Thanks. Would it b a good idea to request a pet scan at the moment?
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Answered by Dr. K. Harish (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
none

Detailed Answer:
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.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. K. Harish

Oncologist, Surgical

Practicing since :1986

Answered : 59 Questions

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What level of CEA after colon cancer surgery would be concerning?

Brief Answer: High values Detailed Answer: 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.