A high amount of CEA in your body after a cancer treatment or surgery suggests the cancer is not gone. It may also mean that the cancer has spread to other parts of your body. Smoking can increase the amount of CEA in your body even in the absence of cancer.
What can cause elevated CEA levels?
A high level of CEA can be a sign of certain types of cancers. These include cancers of the colon and rectum, prostate, ovary, lung, thyroid, or liver. High CEA levels may also be a sign of some noncancerous conditions, such as cirrhosis, noncancerous breast disease, and emphysema.
How high can CEA levels get?
Levels of CEA higher than 20 ng/mL are considered very high. If you have CEA levels this high and you also have symptoms of cancer, it strongly suggests the cancer has not been removed successfully after treatment. It may also suggest that the cancer has metastasized, or spread, to other parts of your body.
Can CEA blood test detect cancer?
Higher than normal CEA level alone cannot diagnose a new cancer. Further testing is needed. An increased CEA level may also be due to: Liver and gallbladder problems, such as scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), or gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis)
How reliable is CEA test?
Conclusion. Results point toward a sensitivity of CEA ranging between 50 % and 80 %, and a specificity and negative predictive value above 80 %. Results on positive predictive value showed low reliability.