What is a CEA test?

CEA test or Carcinoembryonic antigen test is a protein that is present in a developing baby's tissues. After delivery, CEA levels often drop drastically or decrease entirely. Very little or no CEA should be present in the bodies of healthy persons.

The level of CEA in the blood and other bodily fluids is determined by this test. CEA is one kind of tumor marker.

Certain forms of malignancies may manifest as elevated CEA levels. These might include liver, lung, thyroid, ovary, prostate, colon, and rectum malignancies. A number of non-cancerous diseases, including cirrhosis, non-cancerous breast disease, and emphysema, can also be indicated by high CEA levels.

A CEA test cannot diagnose cancer or even determine whether you have it. Therefore, the test is not utilised for cancer diagnosis or screening. However, if you've already received a cancer diagnosis, a CEA test can assist in tracking the success of your therapy and determine whether the illness has spread to other regions of your body.

Other names: Other names of this test are CEA assay, CEA blood test, carcinoembryonic antigen test

What is the need for a CEA test?

A CEA test is needed if someone has already been diagnosed with cancer and the doctor is deciding on treatment. Prior to starting your therapy and then periodically after that, your doctor may do tests on you. This can enable your doctor to assess the efficacy of your treatment. After your therapy is over, you could also have a CEA test. The test can assist in determining whether cancer has returned.

What happens throughout a CEA test?

Blood is often used to assess CEA. A tiny needle will be used by a medical expert to draw blood from a vein in your arm during a CEA blood test. A tiny amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial once the needle has been placed. The needle may hurt somewhat when it enters or exits your body. Usually, this only needs a few minutes.

Sometimes fluid from the abdominal wall or spinal fluid is used to test for CEA. Your healthcare practitioner will use a tiny needle or syringe to draw a little sample of fluid for these tests. The fluids listed below might be examined:

  • The spinal cord contains cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a clear, colorless liquid.
  • Your abdominal wall is lined with a fluid called peritoneal fluid.
  • The fluid known as pleural fluid, which coats each lung's outside, is found inside the chest cavity.

How to prepare for the test?

The CEA blood test does not require any special preparation. If it is there, then it will be informed by your doctor. Before a CSF or peritoneal fluid test, you might be requested to empty your bladder and bowels.

You could undergo testing many times while receiving cancer therapy. These findings could reveal:

High CEA levels from the beginning

This can indicate that the treatment is not working on your cancer.

High CEA levels initially and then decreased

This may imply that your therapy is having an effect.

CEA levels first dropped but eventually rose

This might indicate that your cancer has returned following treatment.

Speak with your healthcare professional if you have any queries regarding your results.

Important information about a CEA test?

Not all malignancies generate CEA. Even though the findings of your CEA were normal, you can still have cancer. Additionally, elevated CEA levels may indicate a noncancerous medical problem. The CEA levels of smokers are frequently greater than average.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the CEA Test?

CEA is a tumor marker. The level of CEA in the blood and other body fluid is determined by this test. This test is not utilized for cancer diagnosis and screening.

2. What is the normal CEA Test range?

The normal CEA range in the blood is 0 to 2.5 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).

3. What CEA Test level indicates cancer?

CEA levels above 20 ng/mL may indicate cancer.

4. Can CEA Test identify all cancer?

No, CEA doesn't always indicate cancer. Instead, it is used in patients who have already received a cancer diagnosis, most frequently colorectal cancer.

5. What kind of cancer does the CEA Test work best on?

The CEA test is specifically used for rectum and large intestine malignancies. The findings of the test may also be used by your doctor to assess the efficacy of cancer therapy.

6. What is the CEA Test cost?

The CEA test cost ranges between Rs. 600 to Rs. 700 approximately; however, it may vary from place to place.

7. Does CEA get worse as you age?

Yes, CEA increases with age in both smokers and nonsmokers.

8. When is a CEA Test done?

CEA test is often requested as a "baseline" measurement before treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. If the level is high, the test can be used to monitor a patient's therapeutic response and find out whether cancer has come back after treatment.

9. How frequently should I take the CEA Test after completion of cancer therapy?

People with stage II or III colon or rectal cancer should test for CEA in every 3 to 6 months for 2 years and then every 6 months for 3 additional years, with CT scans every 6 months for 5 years.

10. Where can I get the CEA Test in Hyderabad?

To get a CEA test, visit Medicover Hospitals, it offers a wide range of cancer screening tests with accurate and fast results.