Question I had stage 4colorectal cancer w/resection of the colo-rectal tumor & liver tumor 2 1/2 years ago (including placement of an illeosomy) at age 61. Prior to surgery I had 6 weeks of radiation/chemo. Following surgery was 4months of chemo, followed by revision of the illeostomy. This was done ~7 months after the initial surgery. My CEA level remained <1.0 for the next year. Then just 1 yr ago - last Oct - my level was 1.8. At every 3month checkup the level has consistently increased to 2.9 -- to 8.9 -- to 13.5 -- to 37.5 at my Oct visit. During all of this time my CT tests remain normal / unchanged. And I continue to feel good and have regained all of the weight that I had lost that 1st year. My energy level is returned to about normal. I have just had my 64th BDay. The doctor has no explanation for this steady rise in my CEA level. Might you have some insight for me?x
Answer Unfortunately the first thing that comes to my mind is that somehow & somewhere your cancer is back. Was your CEA increased before surgery too? If it was that would make my suspicions on this matter stronger. Since CT scans have not shown anything I do suggest that your doctor should keep looking, now for "hot spots" using isotope scans. Your doctor will understand what I mean. MRI scans may also be of use. If your cancer has come back more and repeated chemotherapy will be needed to keep it in check.
I`m a doctor of medicine and a specialist in radiation therapy and medical oncology. I have long experience with regards to this cancer.
I'm a Doctor of Medicine and specialist in Medical Oncology and Radiation Therapy educated & trained in Sweden. Now retired. Background in Radiation Therapy, Medical Oncology, Radiation Protection, Nuclear Medicine, Diagnostic Radiology, Gynecological Oncology, Clinical Pathology, Clinical Cytology,Hematology and Internal Medicine. M.D. from the faculty of medicine, Royal Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Have also been an exchange student at the Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem Israel. Former medical consultant, Swedish National Board of Radiation Protection. Former Police Surgeon and Medical Examiner, Stockholm Police Department. Former Chief Medical Officer, The Royal Guards, The Royal Horse Guards and the Royal Household Brigade, Royal Swedish Army Medical Corps. You can also reach me on: http://www.lifestylerescue.com/expert/health-fitness-advice/dr-claes-gustaf/128 I have no restrictions on the number of questions there.