CEA Blood Test

CEA Blood Test For Cancer

Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a protein associated with colon and rectal cancer.  Elevated levels of CEA are also found with other types of cancer including pancreatic, gastric, lung, ovary, and breast.  CEA is produced during fetal development and if generally not present in most healthy adults.

 The CEA blood test is used to detect these types of  cancer and levels are often used to monitor the progress of individuals diagnosed with these types of cancer.  There are also cases in which CEA is found, but cancer is not present. Benign conditions such as chronic lung disease, cirrhosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and pancreatitis may cause elevated levels of CEA.

CEA Blood Test To Monitor Cancer Treatment

The CEA blood test is commonly used to monitor the progress of a patient’s cancer treatment. It is mostly used to track the levels in colon cancer patients, because CEA typically present in those with cancer, and not healthy individuals. Other cancer patients such as those with lung, rectum, breast, liver, pancreas, stomach and ovary also show levels of CEA. While not all types of cancers produce CEA it can be a good indicator for professionals to monitor.

Normal Ranges Of The CEA Blood Tests

CEA is not commonly present in those without cancer. There are some cases though and the normal ranges are less than 2.5 ng.ml in a non smoker and 5.0 or lower in a smoker. Those that smoke commonly have the presence of CEA in their blood stream. In levels near or above 20 generally suggest that the cancer is present and has metastasized. This blood test is important for those individuals will cancer, to allow their physician to track their medical condition, as well as any treatment that they might be undergoing.