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Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is normally produced by cells of the digestive tract during early fetal life. CEA is not a screening test for cancer. Instead, it is useful as a tumor marker to determine the extent of disease and its prognosis in persons with gastrointestinal and breast cancer. CEA can also be used to monitor response to therapy.
CEA levels are elevated in smokers as well as other non-cancerous conditions such as inflammation from recent infections, inflammatory bowel disease, and pancreatitis.
Fasting is not required for this test. Take all medications as prescribed.
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