Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA)
Fasting Required: No

Specimen: Blood

Results: 3-5 Business days

A protein normally found in the tissue of a developing baby in the womb. CEA blood level disappears or becomes very low after birth. Increased CEA levels have been detected with primary colorectal cancer and in patients with other cancers such as medullary thyroid carcinoma, breast cancer, cancer of the gastrointestinal tract, liver cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer. Elevated levels can also be caused by infection, cirrhosis of the liver, chronic smoking, and inflammatory bowel disease. CEA levels provide important information about patient prognosis, recurrence of tumors after surgical removal, and effectiveness of therapy.


The presence of HAMA in patients can cause false-positive or false-negative results with tests for the determination of blood CEA levels. Approximately 5% of colorectal cancers are not associated with increased levels of CEA. CEA may be elevated in many types of solid cancer.

Alternative Name(s):
Carcinoembryonic Antigen

Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

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