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? from user Madeline Kay


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Someone originally "moved" this post. I've just been contacted by this member's daughter who wants this question to be posed to survivors to hear your experiences. I've put it in both this forum copied it into the Ask the Experts forum too.

This is my first time to write, but I have been reading this site since Oct. 2004 when my husband was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, stage 4, right lung. What do you all know about CEA numbers and their significance? My husband (age 69) had CEA of 500 before surgery. Then the numbers dropped steadily down to 58. During this time he was on Gemzar & Navelbine, but about a month and a half ago, his oncologist changed his treatment to Tarceva. He feels great, but the CEA has jumped to 80. We have been told to continue Tarceva for the next 6 wks, and then have more blood work and the oncologist will see how things look.

What experiences has anyone had with the CEA moving up or down?

He had scans in April that showed nothing new or changed, so this CEA number is all we have to give indication of how he is doing, so I am naturally worried when it moves in the wrong direction.

Madeleine Kay


Husband age 69 diagnosed NSCLC Oct.1,2004 non-smoker

5cm tumor in right lung upper lobe

Oct. 28 surgery to remove two lobes of right lung

Surgery revealed lumph node involvement although CT and PET scans had not indicated that

Also two tiny nodules in left lung that are probably cancer, but don't glow on PET scan

Dec. 14 Began chemo gemzar & navelbine

CEA numbers dropping

April 1,stopped gemzar & navelbine and started Tarceva because CEA had reached plateau and side effects were becoming bad

New CT & PET scans show no change or new cancer

May 17 Blood work indicates CEA rising

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