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CEA 4.9

My bowel cancer nurse has just given me results but my regular nurse isnt there so i have to wait until monday to see what they want to do. After my tumour was removed in june 2016 my level was 3.1 . It went up to 4 and now latest test its 4.9. This could just be normal for me but it is rising so im concerned. I will know more on monday but wondered what you thpught and what is the plan generally when this happens?? Thank you your help is appreciated. I was T3 N0 MO

Bear G

Hi Suzie
Charlotte is on holiday for the next week so it may be a while before she can reply.
I’ve just replied to your PM and sent you the fact sheet which includes info on CEA levels


Thank you @Bear G . It sounds like anything over 5 can be a cause for concern and I'm now 4.9 so feeling anxious. ☹😞

Bear G

Hi Suzie
I can see why you’d think that but it’s not necessarily the case.
In the fact sheet it says “So a rise of anything up to 5, 6 or 7 could still be normal”
And also that it’s not a matter of a set level being normal or abnormal what they would be looking for is “an upward trend of, for example, 4 - 10 - 20 at consecutive readings would trigger further investigation”. That trend wouldn’t necessarily mean the cancer is back, just that more tests would needed.
It may be natural that your cea levels fluctuate a bit, it’s increases of a big magnitude they’re looking for.
Hope that helps


Hi @Suzie1

I’ve had experience of a steadily rising CEA but this was associated with abdominal pain, poor appetite and weight loss. It did indicate a recurrence on that occasion.

Now my CEA fluctuates between 3 and just over 5 but it’s not associated with any other worrying symptoms and scans are ok ish. I don’t worry about the fluctuations now since I know this can often happen whereas before, it was steadily increasing only.

I hope this goes a little way to reassure you.

Take care,



Oops! I’ve just realised this post is for Charlotte 😉


@Baxter2 thank you for taking the time to write to me. I just read your story, a true soldier! Bless you, i wish you the very best. :x::x::x:


You just need to keep strong and focussed @Suzie1.

Lots of love