Early detection of malignancies is not easy. Few methods of health screening have been proven to be of value. The use of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) in health screening has never been proven to result in early detection of cancers but requests to test tumour markers continue to be made. A raised CEA is not an uncommon finding and there are no established protocols on how to approach this issue. We report 5 cases where a raised CEA was the initial finding that later led to the diagnosis of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC).
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