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Thread: Question about CEA Levels

  1. #1

    Question about CEA Levels

    Had a routine Blood Test done and Doc told me that "my CEA Level"
    was High. Told me I need to see a "Oncologist" because my
    CEA Level is 11, and that normal level @ max, for non-smoker
    is about 3, for heavy smokers around 5. He explained the significance
    of a CEA level of "11" and it's connection to Cancer with a CEA Level
    as elevated as mine.
    Thing I'm confused about is, after docs saw my CEA level they of course
    kept me in hospital. For 4 days they did tests, MRI, CT scan, Endoscopy etc..But found nothing on any of the imaging tests.
    So, can anyone please tell me what that means! Do I have cancer some-where in my body due to the CEA @ level 11? Or do I not have cancer
    due to the fact that all the "Imaging Tests" did not find anything?
    And since a Level as high as 11 is usually an indication of advanced stages, how could it not show up in any of the "Imaging Tests"?

  2. #2
    Top User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    elevated CEA level


    Elevated CEA may mean cancer, but it may mean a number of other things. For example: hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, obstructive lung disease can all cause elevated CEA. For this reason this test is not ordered to diagnose cancer, but only to be followed after cancer is diagnosed. For example, you start with a level of 15 due to colon cancer, once the tumor is out they check levels and follow them, since they are markers of recurrent disease.

    best regards,
    Leonardo F - Webmaster Cancer Forums
    Disclaimer: this information is for informational purposes only. It is not medical advice.

  3. #3

    I just saw your posting and wanted to know how you are doing now. I too have an elevated CEA with no symptoms of cancer. However, cancer does run in my family, so I am concerned. The doctors say that if it remains constant for 2 years, that i am ok. What have the doctors been telling you? How often do you test your CEA? Mine seems to fluctuate by about 1 point every time i get it checked. Does yours do the same?


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