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How is CEA used to diagnose pancreatic cancer?

Similar to CA 19-9, CEA cannot be used as a diagnostic or screening test for pancreatic cancer because both cancerous and non-cancerous conditions can increase CEA levels. Smoking, certain infections, pancreatitis, and cirrhosis of the liver can all cause elevated CEA levels.

Additionally, chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause a temporary rise in CEA levels due to increased CEA release by tumor cells that are being destroyed.

Also similar to CA 19-9, the CEA test is best used to determine disease progression and treatment effectiveness. Your doctor may track the changes in your CEA levels throughout your treatment if you are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

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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.