Colon Cancer/cea test


I had colon cancer in 1989. All clear now. When I asked my primary care physician to include a cea test with my regular labs, she said that test is only effective for the first 2 or 3 years after initial diagnosis.
True or false?
Thanks, Jim

Well it is more complicated than that! To be of value your CEA should have been measured BEFORE your surgery as well as after it and then followed afterwards for at least 5 years. The best result would be had if indeed you had an elevated level of CEA before surgery which had disappeared after surgery. Then you would know that the surgery seemed to have gone well and by following it you would know with a quite high probability if your cancer had come back or not. Not all colon cancers show high CEA. And a high CEA may have other causes. That will make it more complicated. Having said that I have to say that you may still benefit from CEA tests but not so clearly as in the example I just gave you.

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Colon Cancer

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Claes-Gustaf Nordquist, M.D.


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: I have no restrictions on the number of questions there.

I also answer questions in these categories: Oncology (General Cancer), General History, Military History, Brain Tumors, Breast Cancer.

I'm a medical doctor and a specialist in medical oncology & radiation therapy.

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