Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test


Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test


A carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test is used to check how well treatment is working in certain types of cancers, particularly colon cancer.

Carcinoembryonic antigens are harmful substances (usually proteins) that are produced by some types of cancer. In response to the antigens, the body produces antibodies to help fight them.


The CEA test is often used after surgery to check carcinoembryonic antigen levels.

As well as being a useful marker in cases of colon cancer, CEA tests can also be used in assessing other types of cancer including:

rectal cancer

lung cancer

breast cancer

liver cancer

pancreatic cancer

stomach cancer

ovarian cancer