Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test
A carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test is used to check how well treatment is working in certain types of cancer, particularly bowel cancer.
Carcinoembryonic antigens are proteins produced by some types of cancer.
In response to the antigens, the body produces antibodies to help fight them.
A CEA test is often carried out after surgery to check carcinoembryonic antigen levels.
As well as being a useful marker for bowel cancer, CEA tests can be used to assess other types of cancer, including:
CEA levels may also be raised in non-cancerous conditions, such as liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis).
Find out more about a CEA test on Lab Tests Online-UK.
Page last reviewed: 30 September 2021
Next review due: 30 September 2024