CEA blood test

CEA Blood Test- Understand the preparation, procedure, types, risks, and much more

Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) blood test is used to detect and monitor cancers like colorectal, pancreatic, breast cancer, etc. and even cancers of the cervix, lungs, prostate, and testes. The CEA test is often paired with other tests like imaging scans or biopsies to get more information about the type of cancer and its exact location.

Why is CEA Blood Test done?

CEA tests are used to detect tumors as well as to monitor the progress of ongoing treatment. With this test, health care providers can monitor the cancer and determine the best course of treatment.

When is CEA Blood Test done?

It is usually done:

  • During diagnosis of certain cancers, especially colorectal cancer.
  • During cancer treatment to check how well the treatment is working.
  • Before certain therapies.
  • After a remission to detect recurrence of the cancer.
  • To assess general health.

How is CEA Blood Test done?

CEA blood tests are done through a routine blood draw. The blood sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis and results come back in 2-3 working days. The doctor will interpret the results and advise accordingly.

Types of CEA Blood Test

There are two types of CEA blood tests:

  1. Qualitative CEA Test: This is a simple screening test with a yes/no result with regards to whether tumor markers are present in the body.
  2. Quantitative CEA Test: This test is used to monitor the levels of tumor markers over time to track cancer progression and response to treatment.

Risks of CEA Blood Test

The risks of CEA tests are minimal as it involves a routine blood draw. In rare cases, some may experience minor discomfort such as pain and bruising at the site of the injection.