Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) Test is a test used to measure the presence of protein called CEA in the blood or in other fluids like peritoneal (abdomen), cerebrospinal (spine) and pleural (from areas near to lungs). CEA protein is found in significant amount in a new born but gets least in the adult. The presence of high level of CEA is a sign of person having a certain type of cancer that may be of colon, rectum, lung, ovary, thyroid or liver. Doctors recommend this test when they suspect the presence of colorectal cancer or other cancer, to check out whether cancer treatment is effective or to find out about the recurrence of cancer after treatment.
Although CEA test is not an absolute test for cancer diagnosis as it cannot tell the region affected by cancer, it helps doctor monitor the progress of cancer treatment once the cancer has been diagnosed. The test report gives a clue to doctors to prescribe further tests or determine further follow-up care or additional treatment that may be needed to the patients.