To make an accurate stomach cancer diagnosis, physicians typically have to conduct a series of tests. When determining which tests may be most effective, a physician may consider a variety of factors, including the patient’s age, medical condition, symptoms and the suspected type of cancer. While these tests can provide physicians with useful information, a biopsy is typically the ultimate way to provide a definitive diagnosis.
While a routine physical examination and blood tests are usually conducted when providing a stomach cancer diagnosis, some other tests may include:
- Imaging – These tests may include X-rays, CT scans, PET scans or MRIs to allow physicians to view internal structures.
- Laparoscopy – A small scope is fed through a minor incision in the abdomen that allows physicians to determine how far the cancer has spread.
- Endoscopy – A thin, lighted tube (endoscope) is fed down through the mouth and into the stomach.
- Endoscopic ultrasound – An ultrasound probe is attached to the end of the endoscope and produces sound waves that provide a detailed image of the tumor.
During an endoscopy, a physician can perform a biopsy by removing a sample of tissue from the tumor with the endoscope. This tissue sample is then sent to a pathologist, or a physician who specializes in evaluating cells and tissues, for thorough analysis.
Most patients at Moffitt Cancer Center’s Gastrointestinal Oncology Program have received a preliminary diagnosis and test results, and are looking for a second opinion or seeking more information on supportive care treatments. We are also able to conduct these and any other tests needed to provide an accurate initial stomach cancer diagnosis.
There’s no referral needed to visit Moffitt Cancer Center or speak with our team of experts specializing in all aspects of stomach cancer care. Schedule an appointment using our online new patient form or by calling 1-888-MOFFITT.