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Colon Cancer

Colon Cancer

02/24/2009

Question:

My brother-in-law has a CEA level of 109 but a clear colonoscopy. Is it still possible that he has colon cancer? He does have mets to his bones (rib cage, pelvis, shoulders, and spine). The cancer intially presented as a tumor in the neck muscle only, within five and a half weeks, and two rounds of platent therapy chemo he is at his current stage. Any insight you might have about his condition is greatly appreciated.

Answer:

Patient with different cancer have high CEA; so CEA is not specific to colon cancer. If colonoscopy was normal, it is very unlikely he has colon cancer, but instead his current neck cancer is causing the CEA to be elevated.

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Response by:

Malek  Safa, MD Malek Safa, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati