Breaking News
May 3, 2019 - Vaping and Smoking May Signal Greater Motivation to Quit
May 3, 2019 - Dementia looks different in brains of Hispanics
May 3, 2019 - Short-Staffed Nursing Homes See Drop In Medicare Ratings
May 3, 2019 - Study of teens with eating disorders explores how substance users differ from non-substance users
May 3, 2019 - Scientists develop new video game that may help in the study of Alzheimer’s
May 3, 2019 - Arc Bio introduces Galileo Pathogen Solution product line at ASM Clinical Virology Symposium
May 3, 2019 - Cornell University study uncovers relationship between starch digestion gene and gut bacteria
May 3, 2019 - How to Safely Use Glucose Meters and Test Strips for Diabetes
May 3, 2019 - Anti-inflammatory drugs ineffective for prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
May 3, 2019 - Study tracks Pennsylvania’s oil and gas waste-disposal practices
May 3, 2019 - Creating a better radiation diagnostic test for astronauts
May 3, 2019 - Vegans are often deficient in these four nutrients
May 3, 2019 - PPDC announces seed grants to develop medical devices for children
May 3, 2019 - Study maps out the frequency and impact of water polo head injuries
May 3, 2019 - Research on Reddit identifies risks associated with unproven treatments for opioid addiction
May 3, 2019 - Good smells may help ease tobacco cravings
May 3, 2019 - Medical financial hardship found to be very common among people in the United States
May 3, 2019 - Researchers develop multimodal system for personalized post-stroke rehabilitation
May 3, 2019 - Study shows significant mortality benefit with CABG over percutaneous coronary intervention
May 3, 2019 - Will gene-editing of human embryos ever be justifiable?
May 3, 2019 - FDA Approves Dengvaxia (dengue vaccine) for the Prevention of Dengue Disease in Endemic Regions
May 3, 2019 - Why Tonsillitis Keeps Coming Back
May 3, 2019 - Fighting the opioid epidemic with data
May 3, 2019 - Maggot sausages may soon be a reality
May 3, 2019 - Deletion of ATDC gene prevents development of pancreatic cancer in mice
May 2, 2019 - Targeted Therapy Promising for Rare Hematologic Cancer
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease is a ‘double-prion disorder,’ study shows
May 2, 2019 - Reservoir bugs: How one bacterial menace makes its home in the human stomach
May 2, 2019 - Clinical, Admin Staff From Cardiology Get Sneak Peek at Epic
May 2, 2019 - Depression increases hospital use and mortality in children
May 2, 2019 - Vicon and NOC support CURE International to create first gait lab in Ethiopia
May 2, 2019 - Researchers use 3D printer to make paper organs
May 2, 2019 - Viral infection in utero associated with behavioral abnormalities in offspring
May 2, 2019 - U.S. Teen Opioid Deaths Soaring
May 2, 2019 - Opioid distribution data should be public
May 2, 2019 - In the Spotlight: “I’m learning every single day”
May 2, 2019 - 2019 Schaefer Scholars Announced
May 2, 2019 - Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Bye-Bye, ACA, And Hello ‘Medicare-For-All’?
May 2, 2019 - Study describes new viral molecular evasion mechanism used by cytomegalovirus
May 2, 2019 - SLU study suggests a more equitable way for Medicare reimbursement
May 2, 2019 - Scientists discover first gene involved in lower urinary tract obstruction
May 2, 2019 - Researchers identify 34 genes associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer
May 2, 2019 - Many low-income infants receive formula in the first few days of life, finds study
May 2, 2019 - Global study finds high success rate for hip and knee replacements
May 2, 2019 - Taking depression seriously: What is it?
May 2, 2019 - With Head Injuries Mounting, Will Cities Put Their Feet Down On E-Scooters?
May 2, 2019 - Scientists develop small fluorophores for tracking metabolites in living cells
May 2, 2019 - Study casts new light into how mothers’ and babies’ genes influence birth weight
May 2, 2019 - Researchers uncover new brain mechanisms regulating body weight
May 2, 2019 - Organ-on-chip systems offered to Asia-Pacific regions by Sydney’s AXT
May 2, 2019 - Adoption of new rules drops readmission penalties against safety net hospitals
May 2, 2019 - Kids and teens who consume zero-calorie sweetened beverages do not save calories
May 2, 2019 - Improved procedure for cancer-related erectile dysfunction
May 2, 2019 - Hormone may improve social behavior in autism
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by infectious proteins called prions
May 2, 2019 - Even Doctors Can’t Navigate Our ‘Broken Health Care System’
May 2, 2019 - Study looks at the impact on criminal persistence of head injuries
May 2, 2019 - Honey ‘as high in sugars as table sugar’
May 2, 2019 - Innovations to U.S. food system could help consumers in choosing healthy foods
May 2, 2019 - FDA Approves Mavyret (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir) as First Treatment for All Genotypes of Hepatitis C in Pediatric Patients
May 2, 2019 - Women underreport prevalence and intensity of their own snoring
May 2, 2019 - Concussion summit focuses on science behind brain injury
May 2, 2019 - Booker’s Argument For Environmental Justice Stays Within The Lines
May 2, 2019 - Cornell research explains increased metastatic cancer risk in diabetics
May 2, 2019 - Mount Sinai study provides fresh insights into cellular pathways that cause cancer
May 2, 2019 - Researchers to study link between prenatal pesticide exposures and childhood ADHD
May 2, 2019 - CoGEN Congress 2019: Speakers’ overviews
May 2, 2019 - A new strategy for managing diabetic macular edema in people with good vision
May 2, 2019 - Sagent Pharmaceuticals Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Ketorolac Tromethamine Injection, USP, 60mg/2mL (30mg per mL) Due to Lack of Sterility Assurance
May 2, 2019 - Screen time associated with behavioral problems in preschoolers
May 2, 2019 - Hormone reduces social impairment in kids with autism | News Center
May 2, 2019 - Researchers synthesize peroxidase-mimicking nanozyme with low cost and superior catalytic activity
May 2, 2019 - Study results of a potential drug to treat Type 2 diabetes in children announced
May 2, 2019 - Multigene test helps doctors to make effective treatment decisions for breast cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - UNC School of Medicine initiative providing unique care to dementia patients
May 2, 2019 - Nestlé Health Science and VHP join forces to launch innovative COPES program for cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - Study examines how our brain generates consciousness and loses it during anesthesia
May 2, 2019 - Transition Support Program May Aid Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes
May 2, 2019 - Study shows how neutrophils exacerbate atherosclerosis by inducing smooth muscle-cell death
May 2, 2019 - Research reveals complexity of how we make decisions
CEA Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

CEA Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

What is a CEA test?

CEA stands for carcinoembryonic antigen. It is a protein found in the tissues of a developing baby. CEA levels normally become very low or disappear after birth. Healthy adults should have very little or no CEA in their body.

This test measures the amount of CEA in the blood, and sometimes in other body fluids. CEA is a type of tumor marker. Tumor markers are substances made by cancer cells or by normal cells in response to cancer in the body.

A high level of CEA can be a sign of certain types of cancers. These include cancers of the colon and rectum, prostate, ovary, lung, thyroid, or liver. High CEA levels may also be a sign of some noncancerous conditions, such as cirrhosis, noncancerous breast disease, and emphysema.

A CEA test can’t tell you what kind of cancer you have, or even whether you have cancer. So the test is not used for cancer screening or diagnosis. But if you’ve already been diagnosed with cancer, a CEA test can help monitor the effectiveness of your treatment and/or help find out if the disease has spread to other parts of your body.

Other names: CEA assay, CEA blood test, carcinoembryonic antigen test

What is it used for?

A CEA test may be used to:

  • Monitor treatment of people with certain types of cancers. These include colon cancer and cancers of the rectum, prostate, ovary, lung, thyroid, and liver.
  • Figure out the stage of your cancer. This means checking the size of the tumor and how far the cancer has spread.
  • See if cancer has returned after treatment.

Why do I need a CEA test?

You may need this test if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Your health care provider may test you before you start treatment, and then regularly throughout the course of your therapy. This can help your provider see how well your treatment is working. You may also get a CEA test after you’ve completed treatment. The test can help show whether the cancer has come back.

What happens during a CEA test?

CEA is usually measured in the blood. During a CEA blood test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.

Sometimes, CEA is tested in the spinal fluid or from fluid in the abdominal wall. For these tests, your provider will remove a small sample of fluid using a thin needle and/or syringe. The following fluids may be tested:

  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a clear, colorless liquid found in the spinal cord
  • Peritoneal fluid, a fluid that lines your abdominal wall
  • Pleural fluid, a liquid inside your chest cavity that covers the outside of each lung

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don’t need any special preparations for a CEA blood test or a pleural fluid test.

You may be asked to empty your bladder and bowels before a CSF or peritoneal fluid test.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a CEA blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

CEA tests of body fluids are usually very safe. Serious problems are rare. But you may experience one or more of the following side effects:

  • If you had a CSF test, you may feel some pain or tenderness in your back at the site where the needle was inserted. Some people get a headache after the test. This is called a post-lumbar headache.
  • If you had a peritoneal fluid test, you may feel a little dizzy or lightheaded after the procedure. There is a small risk of damage to the bowel or bladder, which may cause an infection.
  • If you had a pleural fluid test, there is a small risk of lung damage, infection, or blood loss.

What do the results mean?

If you were tested before you started treatment for cancer, your results may show:

  • A low level of CEA. This may mean your tumor is small and the cancer has not spread to other parts of your body.
  • A high level of CEA. This may mean you have a larger tumor and/or your cancer may have spread.

If you are being treated for cancer, you may be tested several times throughout treatment. These results may show:

  • Your levels of CEA started high and remained high. This may mean your cancer is not responding to treatment.
  • Your levels of CEA started high but then decreased. This may mean your treatment is working.
  • Your CEA levels decreased, but then later increased. This may mean your cancer has come back after you’ve been treated.

If you had a test on a body fluid (CSF, peritoneal, or pleural), a high level of CEA may mean the cancer has spread to that area.

If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.

Is there anything else I need to know about a CEA test?

Many cancers don’t produce CEA. If your CEA results were normal, you may still have cancer. Also, high levels of CEA can be sign of a noncancerous health condition. In addition, people who smoke cigarettes often have higher than normal CEA levels.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles