This week I had my tumour marker results and thought I would add a link for those of you who follow my blogs to explain a little as to what the test is for ;
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a glycoprotein, which is present in normal mucosal cells but increased amounts are associated with adenocarcinoma, especially colorectal cancer. CEA therefore has a role as a tumour marker. Levels exceeding 10 μg/L are rarely due to benign disease.
- Less than 25% of patients with disease confined to the colon have an elevated CEA level. Sensitivity increases with advancing tumour stage. However, poorly differentiated tumours are less likely to produce CEA.
- CEA values are increased in approximately 50% of patients with lymph node disease. Values are elevated in 75% of patients with distant metastasis.