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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What is the significance of Carcinoembryonic Antigen count in case of colon cancer?

Hello, My mother was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in Nov. 2011. She was on IV chemo until June 2013. The first round of chemo she handled fine but it stopped working so they had to switch to another. She took several treatments and it made her so sick that she took a little break from the chemo and her cea count was 16 in Feb. 2014 and 24 in May 2014 and now it was 64.5 in Sept. 2014. They did a PET SCAN and said the lymph node that has been there with the cancer activity is there and also she has several spots in her pelvic area. Her doctors are now starting her on the chemo pill. Trying to get as many opinions with this and the chemo pill. Does the chemo pill work as good as the chemo in the IV? I know you can never tell about how much the chemo will spread but how does this sound to you?
Mon, 21 Sep 2015
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Oncologist 's  Response
hello dear. I appreciate your concern for your mother. Form the available details it looks as the disease is progressing. A rising CEA level is suggestive of disease progression. She has already received 2 rounds of injectable chemotherapy and now she is weak. So it is better to give her some oral drugs. These drugs work almost equal (although slightly on lower side) to chemo drugs and may be better tolerable. it is a good option in a weak patient. More over there are some targeted form of therapies which can be planned after doing some tests on the tumor tissue. You can discuss these options from the treating doctor. Also it is important to keep her pain free and to provide her good nutrition. Hope it solves your issues. Thanks
regards
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What is the significance of Carcinoembryonic Antigen count in case of colon cancer?

hello dear. I appreciate your concern for your mother. Form the available details it looks as the disease is progressing. A rising CEA level is suggestive of disease progression. She has already received 2 rounds of injectable chemotherapy and now she is weak. So it is better to give her some oral drugs. These drugs work almost equal (although slightly on lower side) to chemo drugs and may be better tolerable. it is a good option in a weak patient. More over there are some targeted form of therapies which can be planned after doing some tests on the tumor tissue. You can discuss these options from the treating doctor. Also it is important to keep her pain free and to provide her good nutrition. Hope it solves your issues. Thanks regards