About CEA / Carcinoembryonic Antigen:
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a glycoprotein that is present in a range of normal mucosal cells, although in very low levels in the majority of healthy adults. However, if there are increased amounts of the protein, then there are links that are associated with adenocarcinoma, especially colon cancer. As a result of this, testing for CEA has a vital role as a marker for tumors or cancer. Normal ranges of CEA can vary, but a level that seems to be normal is usually around 2.5-5 μg/L. Any increasing levels indicate that there may be an active disease in the body, or there can also be an elevation that happens if someone is a heavy smoker. As well as a result of smoking, CEA levels can also be increased in non-cancerous health conditions, such as Chron’s disease, liver disease, and other conditions realting to inflammatory bowel disease.
CEA are cell-surface-anchored glycoproteins, and the specialty of the protein serves as functional colon carcinoma ligand, as well as L-selectin and E-selectin ligands. This shows just how vital to the dissemination of the colon carcinoma cells CEA can be.
CEA tends to be more elevated in tumours where there is lymph node and metastasis, rather than in a tumour that is confined to just an organ. CEA and related glycoproteins and genes go on to make up the CEA family, which belongs to the immunoglobulin family. In humans, this antigen family consists of twenty-nine genes, eighteen of which are normally expressed in the body.