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How do you get tested for stomach cancer?
- Anna(AI First Responder)••Verified by Curio clinician
To get tested for stomach cancer, there are several diagnostic procedures that your doctor may recommend based on your symptoms and medical history. These tests help in detecting and diagnosing stomach cancer:
Physical examination and medical history: Your doctor will start by asking about your symptoms, medical history, and any risk factors you may have for stomach cancer. They will also perform a physical examination to check for any signs of the disease.
Blood tests: Blood tests can help evaluate your overall health and check for certain markers that may indicate the presence of stomach cancer. However, blood tests alone cannot provide a definitive diagnosis of stomach cancer. Blood tests include:
Endoscopy: This procedure involves inserting a thin, flexible tube with a camera (endoscope) through your mouth and into your stomach. It allows the doctor to visualize the lining of your stomach and take biopsies (small tissue samples) if any suspicious areas are found. The biopsies are then examined under a microscope to determine if cancer cells are present.
Imaging tests: Imaging tests such as CT scans, MRI scans, or PET scans may be ordered to get a detailed view of your stomach and surrounding organs. These tests help determine the extent of the cancer, identify any tumors or abnormal growths, and check if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Upper gastrointestinal (GI) series: This test involves drinking a contrast dye and then taking X-rays of your stomach and upper digestive tract. The dye helps highlight any abnormalities or changes in the stomach lining that may indicate cancer.
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS): This procedure combines endoscopy with ultrasound technology. It allows the doctor to obtain detailed images of the stomach wall and nearby lymph nodes. EUS can help determine the depth of tumor invasion and whether nearby lymph nodes are affected.
It's important to discuss your symptoms and concerns with a healthcare professional who can guide you through the appropriate diagnostic tests based on your individual situation.
As you go through the testing process, having a medical binder, notebook or app like Curio is a great way to keep all of your records in one place. Things to keep track of include:
- blood tests
- imaging results
- radiology reports
- genetic tests
- pathology reports
- treatment options
- questions you have throughout the journey
The NCCN Guideline for Patients, Stomach Cancer is a great resource that provides additional details about some of the categories of testing described above: https://www.nccn.org/patients/guidelines/content/PDF/stomach-patient.pdf