Advertisement

What is carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)?

Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) is a protein that may also be used as a tumor marker. CEA is typically found in the blood of a developing fetus, but disappears almost entirely from the blood stream after birth. The normal range of CEA in an adult non-smoker is less than 2.5 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter), and less than 5.0 ng/mL for an adult smoker. However, certain cancers like colorectal cancer and those involving the gastrointestinal tract are known to increase CEA levels in adults. CEA levels greater than 20 ng/mL before therapy are associated with metastatic cancer.

Continue Learning about Cancer Diagnosis

5 Ways to Stay Emotionally Fit After a Cancer Diagnosis
5 Ways to Stay Emotionally Fit After a Cancer Diagnosis
When you’ve been diagnosed with cancer many of the conversations and decisions that follow will focus on your physical health. But you also need to ca...
Read More
Why is early detection of cancer important?
Juliet WilkinsonJuliet Wilkinson
When you catch a cancer early, regardless of its origin, it may be more treatable. Take colon cancer...
More Answers
What is endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) used for?
Brigham and Women's HospitalBrigham and Women's Hospital
Your doctor can use endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)—a medical procedure to examine the lining and the wa...
More Answers
Is It True That Dogs Can Smell Cancer?
Is It True That Dogs Can Smell Cancer?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.