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Dr. K.
Dr. K., Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 4369
Experience:  Board certified with experience in primary care.
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What can a cea increase in chemo mean?

Customer Question

What can a cea increase in chemo mean?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. K. replied 2 years ago.
Dr. K. :

Hello, this is Dr K.. Answers are not medical advice and do not constitute a doctor/patient relationship. I look forward to helping you today.

Dr. K. :

The level of cea is used overall to measure a patients response to chemo

Dr. K. :

Transient surges in CEA can occur after initiation of chemotherapy and are not associated with worse outcome

Dr. K. :

This means the the cea may increase temporarily when chemo is started.

Dr. K. :

It does not mean anything bad is going on

Customer :

Ok. Well this was the pattern ...

Customer :

October 8 ( when off chemo / xeloda as scans were taking place)

Customer :

sorry sept was 9.8 while on xeloda, oct was 8 when off xeloda, folfiri started November and December cea was 9.

Customer :

So a 1 point increase on chemo

Customer :

worried re disease progression or more mets

Dr. K. :

Thats not really a change. And as I mentioned above, it can rise temporarily when chemo is started

Customer :

Should cea not drop if chemo was working and the met was decreasing in size or disappearing ?

Dr. K. :

I dont think you are even reading my answers. I have told you above, twice already that a transient or temporary increase in the cea when starting chemo is normal and common. It does not necessarily mean disease progression.

Customer :

Ok I see. Is 9 quite a high cea?

Dr. K. :

Normal is less than 2.5 For a smoker it is less than 5.0

Customer :

My dad is a smoker

Customer :

before also during chemo - xeloda , it was rising too therefore a scan was done and liver meta appeared

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