Marián Príbelský, Juraj Kaušitz
Colorectal carcinoma is the most frequent malignant GIT disease in Slovakia. Each knowledge which improves the quality
of life for patients or prolongs their life is an important benefit. Currently tumour markers have an important role
in the detection, management and postoperative monitoring of patients with colorectal carcinoma. Pre-operative level
helps us to complete staging of the disease or possibly suggests for us until now not exactly known ‘biological’ staging.
The most important and clinically most widely used tumour marker of colorectal carcinoma is carcinoembryonic
antigen (CEA). Our long-term experience points to prognostic importance of negative pre-operative CEA level, where
not increased CEA levels correlate with high probability that curative operation will be possible, that the patient does
not have remote metastases, that lymph nodes are not afflicted with the disease. The negative level assumes, regardless
of other prognostic parameters, apparent difference in 5 year survival of patients. The importance of routine,
continual monitoring emphasises the fact, that in 50% of patients after curative RO resection of colorectal carcinoma
it comes to recurrent disease(1). The purpose of this monitoring is an early detection of recurrent disease with the aim of
treatment and improvement of patients’ survival. Increase in CEA values outruns the detection of diagnosis of the disease
with other methods. Therefore the increase is a start for further examinations. Another important possibility is
a correlation of changes in CEA values with the effect of treating modalities.