My mother has stage 4 colon cancer, and has been monitoring her CEA count through blood work. Is this CEA count also a way of checking for any cancer throughout the body, because it would make me feel a lot better to get a blood test and know that I am clean.
CEA is useful for detecting new tumor activity in a person with a history of colon cancer, however I do not believe it is an effective cancer screening tool in the general population. Good luck to your mother.
The CEA test is mainly used to monitor for recurrences for patients with a history of cancer and who began with an elevated CEA before the start of therapy. There is a group of patients with colon cancer which do not have an elevated CEA, and monitoring with the CEA for them does not have a clear value.
CEA has been evaluated as a means to screen for colon cancer, and it has not been able to perform well, and hence it never became recommended to screen people without cancer. The clear tests would be stool examination looking for blood and scopes (which directly visualize the colon) if you are looking for a means of screening for yourself.
Copyright 1994-2016 MedHelp International. All rights reserved.
MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.