Stage 4 bowel cancer

You can find information about advanced bowel cancer on our website, including our Treating advanced bowel cancer booklet. You can also join our Living with stage 4 bowel cancer Facebook group.


Raise in CEA levels

Hi lovely people.
My sister has just started her 4th round of chemo. Pre chemo her CEA was 6 & 2 weeks ago it was down to 4. Today it has gone back up to 4.9 - I’m so confused & anxious.
Has anyone had any experience with this?
Thank you :x::x:


Hi @samh - my understanding is that CEA often fluctuates during chemo :x:


@samh I agree, CEA fluctuates a little so this wouldn't worry me. You need to look at the pattern over a few more cycles. Especially as these CEA counts are quite low to start with. It sounds like your sister is doing well. Patricia


Good morning @samh, many consultants don’t even monitor CEA as the levels are only part of the picture. They do naturally fluctuate, but if the team is not worried, neither should you be!

Take very good care, Kim :x::x:


My levels went up to 8 when I was having chemo, which sent me into a panic. I was assured that it’s normal for them to rise and 8 is actually quite low.
I’m all clear now and my levels are 2, so as @Lirio345 says, they’re only part of the picture.
Take care. :x:


Hi @samh - my bloods got up to 14.5 during chemo and did fluctuate quite a bit during. They gave me a PET scan and MRI after my chemo finished as were still over 7. There was however an area of concern where my bowel was joined but after a colonoscopy they said the join was inflamed. Apparently inflammation has an effect on CEA levels its not just a cancer marker. I'm still at a level over 6, but as its going in the right direction they're not too concerned. I'm to have bloods again in July as part of the 5 year surveillance so we'll have to see! Please don't worry too much, they keep such a good eye on you, especially while on chemo. Best of luck to your sister 💖