In order to diagnose stomach cancer, a provider will start with a medical history and physical examination. They may then order one or more diagnostic tests.
Upper GI Series
An upper GI series, also called a barium swallow, is a series of x-rays of the stomach. The patient drinks a barium solution, which coats the inside of the stomach and lights up on the x-ray. Multiple x-rays are then taken to look for changes in the shape of the stomach.
Upper GI Endoscopy
An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera at the end that can be passed through the mouth to allow the provider to see the inside of the stomach. Biopsies can also be taken during this procedure.
Computed tomography, or CT Scan, scans can be taken of the neck, chest, and abdomen to determine if there is any spread of the cancer to other organs in the body.
Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
Endoscopic ultrasound, or EUS, uses an endoscope with an ultrasound probe embedded at the tip of the scope. Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of internal organs. EUS provides a detailed assessment of the depth of the cancer and whether it has spread to adjacent, or neighboring, lymph nodes.