Breast cancer and clinical utility of CA 15-3 and CEA

Scand J Clin Lab Invest Suppl. 1995;221:87-92. doi: 10.3109/00365519509090570.


This manuscript summarizes the experiences with CA 15-3 and CEA obtained in 8,000 breast cancer patients. These markers were usually in normal range (CEA < 6 micrograms/L, CA 15-3 < 40 U/L) before surgery and increased only before the development of distant metastases. 80% of all patients with metastases had elevated marker levels several months before or at the time of detection of metastases. Therefore CA 15-3 and CEA determinations should be used as an easy method for screening of metastases during follow-up of breast cancer patients.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Tumor-Associated, Carbohydrate / blood*
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / blood*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / diagnosis
  • Radioimmunoassay


  • Antigens, Tumor-Associated, Carbohydrate
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen