Jan 12, 2017
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What is Carcinoembryonic Antigen Test (CEA)?

cea test

The Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) was initially announced by Gold in 1965. As the name inferred, it was hypothesized that this antigen was unique to carcinoma or embryonic tissues and not delivered by ordinary grown-up tissues. It soon got to be distinctly evident that abnormal amounts of flowing CEA is found in a number of nonmalignant illnesses and that CEA was created by secretory cells of the ordinary grown-up gastrointestinal tract. In the early reviews, fundamentally led in patients with advanced metastatic sickness, demonstrated frequent elevated amounts of plasma CEA in cancer patients, especially in colorectal cancer. In 1974, the Sustenance and Drug Administration affirmed advertising of the CEA test for various signs including early discovery of malignancy, conclusion of disease and general screening.

Carcinoembryonic antigen also known as CEA is a set of highly related glycoproteins which are involved in cell adhesion. Carcinoembryonic antigen is found on the surface of few cells. It is usually produced in the gastrointestinal tissue during the development of fetus, and the development terminates before birth. Hence, in most cases, the CEA level is low in the blood of healthy individuals.

CEA are glycosyl phosphatidyl inositol (GPI) cell-surface-tied down glycoproteins whose particular sialofucosylated glycoforms serve as utilitarian colon carcinoma L-selectin and E-selectin ligands, which might be basic to the metastatic scattering of colon carcinoma cells. Immunologically they are described as individuals from the CD66 bunch of separation.

What is CEA Test?

A carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test is used to check how well a treatment is functioning in a specific sort of cancer, especially colon cancer. A CEA test is frequently done after surgery to check carcinoembryonic antigen levels in a person through CEA test.

Carcinoembryonic antigen test is also known as Carcinoembryonic antigen blood test.

When should the CEA test be taken?

A CEA test might be requested when someone has been diagnosed to have colon cancer or another similar sort of cancer. It will be measured before treatment is started and afterwards all the time to assess the accomplishment of therapy and to identify repeat.

A CEA test might be performed sometimes when growth is suspected yet not yet analyzed. This is not a typical use for the test in light of the fact that CEA can increase because of many reasons. However, it might give a healthcare professional some extra data.

A CEA test may in some cases be performed on a fluid other than blood when a health specialist presumes that cancer has metastasized (e.g., spread to the pleural or peritoneal hole).

The most effective method to Prepare

You don’t have to do anything before you have this test.

Converse with your specialist about any worries you have in regards to the requirement for the test, its dangers, how it will be done, or what the outcomes will mean.

What is the CEA test procedure?

CEA test is performed by taking blood samples and testing it in the lab for its level in the blood. Other than blood the CEA test can also be done with body fluids and biopsy tissue.

For the test a blood sample is drawn from one’s vein in the arm or from the other body liquids, for example, liquid from the belly (peritoneal), the trunk (pleural), or from the spinal line (cerebrospinal, CSF as required.

The CEA level range in a non-smoker adult should be less than 2.5 ng/ml, and for a smoker adult, it is less than 5.0 ng/ml. In case of smokers, slightly higher levels of CEA can be considered as normal

How is the CEA test used?

The best utilization of CEA is as a tumor marker, particularly for cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. At the point when the CEA level is high before surgery or other treatment, it is expected to come to normal levels after the surgery to remove the tumor is successful.

A rising CEA level shows increase or repeat of cancer. This must be affirmed, as the CEA test independent from anyone else is not sufficiently particular to substantiate the repeat of cancer. Likewise, CEA level range should be greater than 20 ng/ml before treatment might be connected with growth which has officially spread (metastatic disease).

Sensitivity in early-stage colorectal cancer is low and increments with the phase of the ailment. Studies reporting sensitivity vary in the cut off for what constitutes an ordinary CEA level so results are fluctuated. Utilizing a cut-off purpose of 5 μg/L, the extents of patients with expanded qualities are 3%, 25%, 45% and 65% for patients with Dukes’ A, B, C and D sickness individually. Around 72% of cases with metastatic sickness have lifted CEA levels.

What does the CEA test outcome mean?

For treatment, repeat checking:

At the point when CEA levels are at first hoisted and after that go back to normal after treatment, it implies that cancer has been effectively treated. A relentlessly rising CEA level is regularly the primary indication of cancer repetition.

For staging:

On initial testing, individuals with small sized and early-stage tumors are probably going to have a typical or just somewhat increased CEA esteem. Individuals with bigger tumors, later-stage cancer, or tumors that have spread all through the body will probably have a high CEA value.

Testing for metastasis:

On the off chance that CEA is available in a body fluid other than blood, then the individual’s growth is probably going to have spread into that territory of the body. For instance, if CEA is identified in cerebrospinal liquid, this may demonstrate that cancer has spread to the central nervous system.

Since not all growths deliver CEA, it is conceivable to have the tumor and also have a normal CEA level in the blood. In the event that cancer does not create CEA, then the test won’t be valuable as a checking tool.

Conditions which can lead to an elevated CEA?

Both amiable (safe) and threatening (cancerous) conditions can lead to the increase in the CEA level. The most repetitive cancer which causes an elevated CEA is the cancer of the colon and rectum. Others incorporate cancers such as cancer of the pancreas, stomach, lung, breast, and medullary carcinoma of the thyroid and ovarian cancer. Favorable conditions which can raise CEA incorporate smoking, contamination, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, and some benign tumors in similar organs in which an elevated CEA point towards Cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation treatment can bring about a temporary increase in CEA because of the death of the tumor cells and release of CEA into the circulation system. Changing levels of CEA amid cancer treatment should dependably correspond with other clinical discoveries. While troubling, changes in CEA are not demonstrative of cancer progression all alone.

Meaning of Elevated CEA

If the high level of CEA is found in a person who is being treated for particular cancer, then this may mean that cancer has returned. A greater than normal level might be because of the accompanying cancers:

  • Breast cancer
  • Reproductive and urinary tracts Cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Thyroid cancer

Higher than typical CEA level alone can’t check for new cancer. A further test is also required.

An elevated CEA level may likewise be expected due to following:

  • Liver and gallbladder issues, for example, scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), or gallbladder irritation (cholecystitis)
  • Excessive smoking
  • Inflammatory bowel illness, (such as ulcerative colitis or diverticulitis)
  • Lung contamination
  • Aggravation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • Stomach ulcer

What are the limitations of CEA testing?

CEA is not a sure shot test for unknown or undisclosed (mysterious) cancers since early tumors may not always cause for noteworthy blood rises. Likewise, many tumors never cause an irregular blood level, even in advanced ailment. Since there is changeability between results acquired between research centers, a similar lab ought to do a repeat test when observing a patient with a disease.

Risks involved in CEA test

Veins and arteries fluctuate in size from one individual to the other and from one side of the body to the next. Getting a blood sample from few people might be more troublesome than from others.

Different dangers connected with having blood drawn are less, but it may include:

  • Unreasonable bleeding (uncommon)
  • Blacking out or feeling unsteady
  • Hematoma (blood aggregating under the skin)
  • Contamination (a slight hazard at whatever time the skin is broken)

Is there anything else one should know about the CEA test?

Laboratories have different techniques to test for CEA, so results can fluctuate from lab to lab. On the off chance that one have to go through a series of CEA tests, it is exhorted that you have the tests done by a similar technique, usually by a similar research center, so that the outcomes can be looked at and translated effectively. One may wish to talk about this issue with his or her healthcare provider.

People who smoke cigarettes have a tendency to have higher CEA levels than non-smokers.

Elevated CEA levels can show some non-cancer related conditions, for example, aggravation, cirrhosis, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, rectal polyps, emphysema, and benign breast infection.

CEA Test in Dr Lal PathLabs

The CEA test is available in Dr Lal PathLabs under the name Carcino Embryonic Antigen. The cost of this CEA test is Rs. 670.

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