Gastrointestinal Cancer: Diagnosis

To make a definitive way of diagnosis of most types of gastrointestinal cancers, a biopsy is preferred. If a biopsy is not possible, the doctor may suggest other tests that will help make a diagnosis. Imaging tests may be used to find out whether the cancer has spread. Early diagnosis of gastric cancer is difficult because most patients are asymptomatic in the early stage. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy is the preferred diagnostic modality for evaluation of patients in whom stomach cancer is suspected. This radiographic study provides preliminary information that may help the physician determine if a gastric lesion is present and whether the lesion has benign or malignant features.


  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
  • Barium swallow
  • Laparoscopy

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