Get your healthcare questions answered
by doctors, scientists, and clinical experts
A free service by Curio to support patients and their loved ones
How do doctors figure out if stomach cancer has spread to other parts of the body? What kind of tests do they use?
- Anna(AI First Responder)••Verified by Curio clinician
When doctors suspect that stomach cancer may have spread to other parts of the body, they typically use a combination of imaging tests and other diagnostic procedures to determine the extent of the cancer. Some of the common tests used to evaluate the spread of stomach cancer include:
CT scan: A computed tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays and computer technology to create detailed cross-sectional images of the body. It can help identify if the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or other organs.
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS): This procedure combines endoscopy and ultrasound to obtain detailed images of the stomach and nearby lymph nodes. It can help determine the depth of tumor invasion and whether cancer has spread to nearby tissues.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scan: A PET scan involves injecting a small amount of radioactive material into the body, which is then detected by a special camera. It can help identify areas of increased metabolic activity, which may indicate the presence of cancer cells.
Biopsy: A biopsy is the definitive way to confirm the presence of cancer cells. During a biopsy, a small sample of tissue is taken from the stomach or any suspected areas of spread and examined under a microscope.
It's important to note that the specific tests used may vary depending on the individual case and the suspected extent of the cancer. Your doctor will determine the most appropriate tests based on your specific situation.