Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST) are diagnosed using a combination of exams, including blood tests, barium X-rays, CT Scan, MRI, PET Scan, endoscopy, colonoscopy, endoscopic ultrasound and tissue samples taken through a biopsy.
Stages of GIST
Identifying the stage of disease – how far advanced it is and whether it is has spread to distant organs – is an important step in planning the appropriate treatment.
GISTs are classified based on tumor size, location, and mitotic rate into low, intermediate and high risk tumors. Small tumors arising in the stomach with a low mitotic rate are favorable while large tumors arising in locations other than the stomach with a high mitotic rate are high risk. GISTs that have spread to other sites the body are termed Stage IV.