Among the various tests to monitor health, there are some more specific ones, such as the CEA exam, an evaluation required for patients who are treating some type of cancer, especially colorectal cancer.
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What is the CEA test?
The oncologist Ludsclay Cação explains that the CEA is a protein naturally produced by our organism, present in several organs. Thus, it is normal to have the component - however, in some cases, the high levels in the result may indicate some type of cancer. "However, the CEA exam should not be used only for the diagnosis of malignant disease. Sometimes, this alteration in theOn the other hand, when it is associated with other tests, it can identify and accompany a cancer in the stomach, intestine, pancreas, liver, breast, and especially, in the colon.
What is the CEA test for?
Now that you know that the CEA is not the only reference for the diagnosis of cancer, let's talk about its usefulness. In the journey of a cancer patient, who has already had a biopsy and several other tests and discovered that the condition is malignant, the CEA test becomes an aid in treatment.Or the opposite: if the levels remain high, it makes us think and investigate whether there is resistance to treatment, possible disease progression, or even metastasis," the specialist points out.
How is it done?
Many people may think that the exam is complex, but it is quite the opposite. All it takes is a blood sample, which requires a minimum fasting period of 4 hours. However, some laboratories require an interruption of meals for 8 hours.at least 72 hours before the exam," adds Cação.
Are there any contraindications?
Because it is a simple blood sample, there are no restrictions, but it is important to follow the preparation guidelines mentioned above to avoid problems with the results.
How to interpret the CEA test result?
In principle, there are two reference values, one for non-smokers and one for smokers: up to 3.4 ng/mL and up to 4.3 ng/mL, respectively. Above that, check your doctor's evaluation.
Source: Ludsclay Delmondes Cação, oncologist at Avantgarde Institute - CRM/SP 211.586