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Tumour marker blood test

12 Jan 2018 19:46

hi I was diagnosed with bowel cancer last March and had an operation to remove some of my colon : the cancer apparently had not yet gone through the muscle wall : the lymph nodes they removed were all clear and the operation seemed a success . But the last two CEA tests have started to go up 5.6 and now 7 the consultant is sending me to have a PETScan . Are there other things beside cancer that can raise the CEA levels : I didn't ask this question when I was with my consultant at the time . 

Thank you 


Re: Tumour marker blood test

16 Jan 2018 10:41 in response to Susie2017

Hi Susie2017

Thanks for posting. I am sorry to read that you have had treatment for bowel cancer.

Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is protein that is produced by some, but not all bowel cancers. A rising CEA could be an indicator of the cancer coming back, however it is not a completely reliable test on its own. This is usually why a scan if further required to assess the situation. So, this is why your consultant has ordered a PET scan.

There are some other possibilities that could be the reason for your CEA fluctuation, these can be infection or even smoking which can interfere with this result. Beating Bowel Cancer explain this in more detail, click the highlighted link to read more.

I wondered if you have a clinical nurse specialist that you can contact. As I can appreciate you are probably quite anxious and worried.

I hope this has been helpful. Please do get back to us if you have any more questions or call us on 0808 800 4040. We are here from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

Best wishes