Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake
jaylake

[cancer] The CEA levels are in, ambiguous results

My CEAs came back at 0.7. This low-normal. For comparison, I was up around 8.0 when my previous metastatic tumor was first detected, spiking at about 10.8 prior to chemotherapy and resection — see the chart below.

CEA_levels_2011-2012

Had my CEA levels been high on this test, combined with the CT scan result, that would have been fairly conclusive evidence this is a tumor. However, the converse is not necessarily true. This doesn't mean the current mass in question is not a tumor, as my primary cancer presentation as well as my first metastasis both occurred without any spike in CEA levels. The next step is to check metabolic activity with a PET scan. If the mass is a steatosis, it won't light up the PET. If it's scar tissue from the last surgery, it will light up the PET but not as much as a tumor would.

So, an ambiguous but encouraging result. Now waiting to find out when I get a PET scan, or if my oncologist has some other advice.

Tags: cancer, health, personal
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