Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA)
Clinical History Mandatory
The carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test is a blood test that measures the level of CEA in the blood. CEA is a protein that is normally produced during foetal development, but its production decreases significantly after birth. Elevated levels of CEA in the blood can be an indicator of certain cancers, particularly colon and rectal cancers. CEA testing is most useful with other diagnostic tools, such as imaging scans and biopsies. The test may also be used to monitor the effectiveness of cancer treatment, as decreasing levels of CEA may indicate that the treatment is working.
Frequently asked questions
Persistent bleeding at the blood draw site, bruising, and infection are some of the possible side effects after a carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test.
No, the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test should not be used alone to monitor cancer treatment. It is most reliable and accurate when monitored longitudinally over time rather. You should not use it at a single time point as a single value. It should be used along with physical findings, symptoms, other tumour markers, and imaging studies to evaluate cancer and its treatment.
There is very little risk associated with the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test. Since it is a blood test, you may experience light-headedness, bleeding, bruising, or fainting during the process.
Benign conditions like pancreatitis, smoking, COPD, hepatitis, benign breast diseases, lung infection, and inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease are associated with an increase in the levels of CEA.
No, CAN ADD - CEA is sometimes also designated or known as Tumor marker or tumor antigen. Tumor markers are substances that some cancel cells make and shed into body fluids at times.
CEA apart from blood can also be done using Peritoneal fluid (abdominal fluid), Pleural fluid (fluid from lung space), Cerebrospinal fluid CSF (fluid from spinal cord/ brain).