Q. Does a mass in the left mid lung of 5. 3 x 4. 5 cm and a CEA result of 897 confirm lung cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Zubayer Alam
and medically reviewed by Dr. Preetha J
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 02, 2021

Hi doctor,

My mother is easily getting tired. I want to inquire and evaluate the x-ray result and laboratory report of my mother. Her x-ray shows that she had a mass in the left mid lung measuring 5.3 x 4.5 cm. Her CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) result is 897 was the latest. She was previously diagnosed with cervical cancer and had radiation, chemotherapy, and other medication for cancer.



Welcome to

Thank you for the query.

I can understand your concern.

According to your statement, your mother has recently done a CXR (chest x-ray) P/A (posteroanterior) view. Her x-ray film (attachment removed to protect patient identity) has shown a mass in the left mid lung, lung nodules on the right lower lung, and pneumonia on the right lower lung. Her CEA is 897.30 ng/ml, which is very higher than normal.

Levels of Carcinoembryonic Antigen or CEA higher than 20 ng/ml are considered very high. High levels of CEA can be a sign of some types of cancer like cancer of the colon and rectum, prostate, ovary, lung, thyroid, or liver. Again some noncancerous conditions like breast disease, cirrhosis, and emphysema may also elevate CEA levels.

According to her x-ray film and high levels of CEA results, she may have any lung cancer. CT (computed tomography) guided or USG (ultrasound) guided FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology) or biopsy from the left lung mass may help confirm the diagnosis. So it would help if you underwent CT or USG guided FNAC or biopsy as soon as possible to confirm the diagnosis.

Take care. In case of any other query, ask me.

Hi doctor.

Thank you for your reply.

For her case, what will be the recommended procedure CT, USG guided, or FNAC? My mother does not want to do the biopsy. But in your assessment, are you saying that this is confirmed lung cancer?



Welcome back to

Thank you for joining again.

USG or CT-guided FNAC or Biopsy will help to confirm the diagnosis. CT-guided FNAC or biopsy will be better. Your mother can undergo CT guided FNAC or biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

According to your patient's CXR film, such type of lung lesion or mass may result from lung cancer and many other causes. Your mother's recent very high CEA level also suggests carcinoma. She has a history of previous cervical cancer and receiving both chemotherapies as well as radiotherapy.

All points are in favor of carcinoma, but nothing is confirmed yet. CT-guided FNAC or biopsy is the gold standard test here. Without seeing the result of a CT-guided FNAC or biopsy, it is very difficult to confirm the diagnosis.

Take care. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
Is there any simple test available to rule out colon or rectal cancer?

.. all, you get an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) abdomen done. You can have a presence of mass when you have a colon or rectal cancer. If there is a mass seen, then you can do a colonoscopy. You can also do a CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) as CEA ...   Read full

Post chemotherapy, there is remission of RA with pain in joints. Please help.

.. gone through your reports (attachment removed to protect patient identity). It seems her arthritis is flaring up again. Eventually, Cyclosporine and HCQs are both very mild when it comes to arthritis management. She may have had a prolonged suppr...   Read full

Will chemotherapy work for prostate cancer in an elderly patient?

.. read through your query in detail. Please find my observations below. It is important to know when the cancer spread was first detected. If it has spread to involve other areas then it is likely to be stage 4 cancer. I have served in a cancer inst...   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

Monkeypox Virus - Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Complications, and Prevention
Monkeypox is a zoonotic viral disease. This virus got its name as it was first noticed in laboratory monkeys in the late...  Read more»
Tomato Fever - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
Tomato fever is an unidentified and fast-spreading type of viral infection seen in young children. Scroll down to know m...  Read more»
Histrionic Personality Disorder - Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Histrionic personality disorder causes variations in the thinking ability of a person. Read this article to know more.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a Pulmonologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.