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Dr. Muneeb Ali
Dr. Muneeb Ali, Doctor
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 6708
Experience:  MBBS, MD, MCCM. Currently working in Critical Care Medicine with 10 year experience in Medicine
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My husband was diagnosed with colorectal cancer a few months

Customer Question

My husband was diagnosed with colorectal cancer a few months ago and has had surgery with a stoma. He looks fine and is eating well. We recently took him to a new onco who did a ct scan and blood works and his CEA reading is 29.2 and PSA of 4.5. Can you please interpret in simple terms please? His next visit to review this results is in a week's time.. We are in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Thank you very much.
JA: Are you keeping a personal medical record while dealing with this?
Customer: Yes. We have reports since the day he was diagnosed.
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: He is post stroke and post heart patient for last 8 over years.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Oncology
Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 9 months ago.


Im sorry to hear about your husband. The CEA level is certainly elevated in your husbands case, now the normal range in most labs is < 3 ng/ml, however this can vary slightly from lab to lab. If this is the range which is followed in the lab where you got your husbands test done, then this level is concerning. Elevations in the CEA after surgery and especially several months after surgery can indicate a recurrence meaning it is possible that the cancer has come back. It can also indicate that there are cancer cells somewhere else in the body who are producing the CEA. This is why i think your husband needs to be evaluated as soon as possible. Secondly, the PSA level is slightly elevated but it also depends on the age of the inidvidual as the PSA levels rise with increasing age. Secondly there are other reasons for the PSA to be elevated such as in case of an infection they can rise dramatically. PSA levels are usually interpreted after looking at the last levels. if the levels have risen dramatically then that is usually an indication for a prostate exam and biopsy to be done. If they have remained static then the levels are monitored frequently and a biopsy is deferred.

In your husbands case i think the PSA level can be elevated due to an infection if he has had any urinary symptoms recently however if he has not had any symptoms and the last level was much lower, then he needs to get a prostate exam and biopsy done ASAP. Whereas the CEA is more concerning, this requires another workup to be done to look for any recurrences. Also if the last CEA level was much lower than the one this time around, then teh recurrence is most likely recent in origin.

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