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Update on Daddy need to pick your brains


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Well, the visit was BRIEF... the only thing the onc told him (and this was done while he was getting his zometa) is that his CEA marker is up just a hair - not to be concerned. Which is what he told us 3 months ago, that it was just off a hair and nothing to be concerned about. Daddy did request a printout of his blood work (I was impressed). I went over it with a fine tooth comb and I also noticed that is WBC is high. Now, the Onc never said a word about this to Daddy and I didn't want to get Dad upset so I didn't mention it either, but I am confused as to why the Onc is not concerned about it. He did schedule Dad for his routine CT Scan for next Thursday and then he meets with the Onc again on Friday - so maybe he will mention it then but it has me very scared. I did alittle research on high white counts and one of the causes can be inflammation i.e. intestional, now, I am wondering if this could be a result of the colonoscopy and 17 polyps removed and/or his overuse of laxatives. I am trying desperately not to go the the BAD PLACE. Anyway, thats the latest - not horrible news I guess, the Onc does not seemed concerned and I do trust this man. By the way... interesting fact... Daddy has been on the iron pills for 2 months now... his Iron level is still only a 51 - normal range being 50 - 175 so... i can only imagine how low it must have been way back when he was first diagnosed!! Any thoughts on the WBC counts would be appreciated and also the CEA level... any of you have similar experiences? Love Sharon

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Can you call your Dad's doctor when he is not listening to clarify results? Maybe you could just put in a blanket request for copies of all reports so your Dad won't be suspicious when they hand them to you. That way you can have them in front of you when you talk to the doc.

My CEA marker was at 5.5 before my first surgery and 1.1 before my second surgery. Cancer both times. Guess I can't answer your question on this. The surgeon said my tumor didn't shed so it didn't show up in the blood. I am going to ask my oncologist about this during my next chemo.

My prayers are with you and your Dad. I am very close to my parents and worry myself sick when they are sick. Take care of yourself too.

Love and hugs,


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WBC can vary quite alot due to a variety of different factors. I will try to find you a reference that is good (I am a laboratory scientist), but please know there are many, many reasons for a raised WBC. How high was it? Bacterial infections are one of the most commong causes for a raised WBC.

I will try to find a reference for you now, and post it later.

Thinking of you



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A high WBC count is probably due to a cold, it actually can be caused by just eating before the test. It has too be extremely high for a long period of time to worry about it. My wife had a scare with a high WBC (lymphoma/leukemia) was mentioned. But it turned out to be nothing.

It is strange that his RBC is still low after taking iron and procrit. I am not sure how long it takes to get back to normal.

I am guessing since the CEA is basically stable it probably doesn't mean much. It is hard to find info on how reliable the CEA is.

levels for CEA are shown below

It seems there are more studies for CEA monitoring after resection.

http://www.asco.org/ac/1,1003,_12-00263 ... 023,00.asp

Normally, its values range from 0.0 to 2.5 nanograms per milliliter of serum (from blood), in non-smokers. CEA levels are higher, on average, in men, smokers, and older individuals

http://consensus.nih.gov/cons/028/028_s ... #5_Is_CEA_

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency ... 003643.htm

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