Health Blogs

Diagnosis of Stomach or Gastric Cancers

  • Medical history and physical exam

When taking your medical history, the doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms (eating problems, pain, bloating, etc.) and possible risk factors to see if they might suggest stomach cancer or another cause. The physical exam gives  information about your general health, possible signs of stomach cancer, and other health problems.

  • Upper endoscopy

Upper endoscopy (also called esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD) is the main test used to find stomach cancer. During this test, the doctor passes an endoscope, which is a thin, flexible, lighted tube with a small video camera on the end, down your throat. This lets the doctor see the lining of your esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine. If abnormal areas are seen, biopsies (tissue samples) can be taken using instruments passed through the endoscope. The tissue samples are sent to a lab, where they are looked at with a microscope to see if cancer is present.

  • Endoscopic ultrasound

EUS is most useful in seeing how far a cancer may have spread into the wall of the stomach, to nearby tissues, and to nearby lymph nodes.

  • Biopsy and IHC(Immunohistochemistry)

Biopsies to check for stomach cancer are most often obtained during upper endoscopy. Tumor is also tested for HER 2 positivity as it helps in treatment.

  • Imaging tests

 Imaging tests are done :

  • To help find out if a suspicious area might be cancerous
  • To learn how far cancer may have spread
  • To help determine if treatment has been effective

Barium Swallow

Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan

Positron emission tomography (PET) scan

These are some of the radiological tests which are done in Stomach Cancer.

  • Lab tests

Complete blood count (CBC)

Kidney Function tests(KFT)

Liver Function tests(LFT)

ECG and Echo for the Heart

Fecal occult blood test to look for blood in stool (feces)

All these tests with history and physical examination done tell us about the presence and stage of the cancer which further helps in suggesting the best treatment for the patient.