What’s a carcinoembryonic antigen take a look at (CEA)?
What Is A High Cea Level For Colon Cancer ? A carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) take a look at is a blood take a look at used to assist diagnose and handle sure varieties of cancers. The CEA take a look at is used particularly for cancers of the big gut and rectum. You physician may also use the take a look at outcomes to assist decide if a most cancers remedy is working.
An antigen is a substance that’s made by cancerous tumor cells. Generally antigens are launched into the bloodstream. The CEA take a look at measures the quantity of CEA within the blood. A excessive quantity of CEA in your physique after a most cancers remedy or surgical procedure suggests the most cancers isn’t gone. It might additionally imply that the most cancers has unfold to different elements of your physique.
Smoking can enhance the quantity of CEA in your physique even within the absence of most cancers. You must inform your physician in the event you smoke.
When will your physician order the CEA take a look at?
The CEA take a look at has totally different makes use of. Your physician can order a CEA take a look at in case your signs counsel you might need most cancers. A CEA take a look at might help your physician discover out if a most cancers remedy is working. These remedies might have included surgical procedure, chemotherapy, radiation, or a mix of all three. Your physician may also use the CEA take a look at to assist decide if a most cancers has come again, or recurred, after ending remedy.
A CEA take a look at is most helpful after a analysis of a kind of cancers that’s identified to supply CEA. Not all cancers produce CEA.
Elevated ranges of CEA could also be discovered within the following cancers:
- colorectal or colon most cancers
- medullary thyroid carcinoma
- breast most cancers
- most cancers of the gastrointestinal tract
- liver most cancers
- lung most cancers
- ovarian most cancers
- pancreatic most cancers
- prostate most cancers
The CEA take a look at isn’t helpful for diagnosing or screening the overall inhabitants for cancers. It’s often not used to display screen or diagnose you in the event you’re wholesome or aren’t displaying any signs of a illness. But when somebody has a familial genetic syndrome for colon most cancers then it’s cheap use CEA as a screening instrument. These instances are uncommon.
Your physician might start monitoring ranges of CEA earlier than you start remedy in the event you’re identified with most cancers. This may set up a baseline degree to your CEA. A single CEA worth is often not as informative as many values and the tendencies of those values over time. Your physician will carry out the take a look at repeatedly earlier than, throughout, and after remedy to verify for modifications.
How is the CEA take a look at carried out?
The CEA take a look at is a blood take a look at carried out in your physician’s workplace. Blood is often drawn from a vein in your arm. The blood draw course of, or venipuncture, often entails the next steps:
- A healthcare supplier will clear the puncture web site with an antiseptic. The positioning is often in the course of your arm, on the alternative facet of the elbow.
- A healthcare supplier will wrap an elastic band round your higher arm to assist make your vein replenish with blood.
- A needle is then inserted into your vein to gather blood into an hooked up vial or tube.
The band is unwrapped out of your arm.
- A laboratory will analyze your blood pattern.
What are the dangers of taking the take a look at?
As with all blood take a look at, there’s a threat of bleeding, bruising, or an infection on the puncture web site. Average ache or a pointy pricking sensation could also be felt when the needle is inserted.
What are regular CEA ranges?
A traditional degree of CEA is lower than or equal to three nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Most wholesome individuals have ranges beneath this quantity.
CEA ranges will typically return to regular between one and 4 months after the most cancers has been efficiently eliminated.
What are irregular CEA ranges?
Elevated ranges of CEA happen when the CEA is greater than 3 ng/mL. These ranges are thought-about irregular. Folks with many varieties of cancers can have ranges which might be greater than 3 ng/mL. When you’ve got values which might be that top, it doesn’t imply you’ve got most cancers. Different causes may cause ranges greater than 3 ng/mL. These can embrace:
- an infection
- persistent smoking
- inflammatory bowel illness (IBD)
Ranges of CEA greater than 20 ng/mL are thought-about very excessive. When you’ve got CEA ranges this excessive and also you even have signs of most cancers, it strongly suggests the most cancers has not been eliminated efficiently after remedy. It might additionally counsel that the most cancers has metastasized, or unfold, to different elements of your physique.
Smoking might have an effect on your CEA take a look at outcomes in the event you’re in any other case wholesome. CEA is often elevated, however lower than 5 ng/mL in individuals who smoke.
What occurs if my outcomes are irregular?
CEA ranges shouldn’t be the one take a look at used to find out you probably have most cancers. Your physician will use the CEA take a look at together with different checks and an analysis of your signs. You and your physician can work collectively to determine your greatest remedy possibility in case your physician determines you’ve got most cancers.