• What does CEA (Carcinoembryonic antigen) mean?

    Asked by StegalMan on Friday, April 12, 2013

    What does CEA (Carcinoembryonic antigen) mean?

    3 Answers from the Community

    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      Hey StegalMan, found this article for you. It discusses this test in grest detail. Hope you find it helpful.


      over 3 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)
      CEA is not used to diagnose or screen for colorectal cancer, but it’s the preferred tumor marker to
      help predict outlook in patients with colorectal cancer.
      The normal range of blood levels varies from lab to lab, and smokers often have higher levels. But
      even in smokers, levels higher than 5.5 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter) are not normal. The
      higher the CEA level at the time colorectal cancer is detected, the more likely it is that the cancer
      is advanced.
      CEA is also the standard marker used to follow patients with colorectal cancer during and after
      treatment. In this way CEA levels are used to see if the cancer is responding to treatment or if it
      has come back (recurred) after treatment.
      CEA may be used for lung and breast cancer. This marker can be high in some other cancers, too
      like melanoma, lymphoma, thyroid, pancreas, liver, stomach, kidney, prostate, ovary, cervix, and
      bladder cancer. If the CEA level is high at diagnosis, it can be used to follow the response to
      treatment. CEA can also be elevated in some non-cancerous diseases, like hepatitis, chronic
      obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and pancreatitis, and in
      otherwise healthy smokers.

      Hope this helps, Carm RN.

      over 3 years ago
    • jearlesred's Avatar

      At the time when I was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer, my CEA levels were 13. Following chemo, radiation, and surgery, they were .07. It is my understanding that since my levels were elevated when I had cancer, and then lowered with treatment, that this is a good indicator for me. Now that I am cancer-free, I have blood work done every three months (along with a CAT scan). If my CEA levels rise at any point, then we 'll know something is off. Good luck to you.

      over 3 years ago

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