Tumour markers

I had vascular invasion, and while undergoing chemo my blood tests were looking for tumour markers CEA and CA153. But 10 months after chemo has finished, my oncologist still wants me to have blood tests and is still including the tumour marker tests. One of the results came back as CEA  3, and CA153  16. Does anyone know what these results mean, and should I worry about a recurrence?


Thank you in adviance.


poemsgalore xx

I was told by my BCN that everyone has tumour markers in their blood and that they can increase when you have bone cancer. The first time I had them checked some 13 months ago they were 412…since then they have decreased at every test…they were 108, then 96 then 84, 78, 64, 56 and this time 51. She told me that the average for a non cancer person was 30.

They assure me that this is good results although they also tell me it is not an exact science so they have also done scans every 6 months or so. My scans have also been encouraging…no further spread in 12 months, and some resolution…I am on zometa and letrozole…

Hi,  normal tumour maker levels vary for each person. They usually test them before treatment and use that as a baseline for future tests. The “average” normal for CA15-3 is 0-36 and CEA is below 5.5 (so I’ve been told, hope someone will correct me if I’m wrong :slight_smile: ) But everyone is different and higher levels doesn’t mean that there are mets, there are quite a few other benign conditions that can cause levels to be high.

I had extensive vascular invasion and a node with macro met and it scared the life out of me when first diagnosed but that was over 6 years ago now and I’m doing fine. All the best xx


I had vascular invasion and lymph node tumors, one quite large, but no one ever mentioned checking tumour markers!!! It never ceases to amaze me the difference in treatment and surveillance offered at differnt hospitals. You would think it would all be as standard nationwide wouldn’t you?