Esophageal Cancer Diagnosis & Detection
Learn More About This Topic: Chat with Us | Email Us
Video: Diagnosing Esophageal CancerLearn about diagnosing esophageal cancer
Diagnosing Esophageal Cancer
CTCA gastroenterologist Dr. Leon Yoder explains how esophageal cancer is diagnosed.
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), our doctors and experts are committed to providing each patient with personalized, comprehensive cancer care. This dedication to your well-being begins the first day you walk through our doors.
In order to create your personalized treatment plan, we conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your disease, including any previous treatments you have received.
Esophageal Cancer Diagnostic Tools, Tests & Procedures
We use state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to evaluate esophageal cancer:
- Upper Endoscopy - An upper endoscopy is a diagnostic test for esophageal cancer that involves attaching a camera to a thin tube that is gently placed through the mouth and into the esophagus. The camera on the end of the endoscope allows our doctors to see the lining of the esophagus and detect any abnormalities. This procedure is done while the patient is under sedation. Upper endoscopy is one of the most accurate ways of diagnosing esophageal cancer.
- Biopsy – During a biopsy, your doctor will remove a small piece of tissue from an area of the esophagus that looks abnormal. That tissue is then tested to determine if cancer cells are present. At this time, the doctor is able to determine the type of esophageal cancer, adenocarcinoma or squamous cell.
- Endoscopic Ultrasound – An ultrasound uses sound waves to show images of the body on a monitor. An endoscopic ultrasound is administered by attaching an ultrasound apparatus to the end of an endoscope, allowing our doctors to see the esophagus and surrounding tissues on an ultrasound machine. This test for esophageal cancer is effective in detecting abnormalities in the surrounding tissue and lymph nodes.
- CT (Computerized Tomography) Scan – A CT scan is an X-ray technique that produces a detailed, 3D image of the esophagus and other structures of the body. A CT scan reveals blood flow and anatomy of tissues in and around the esophagus. We use CT scans to detect and monitor tumor growth throughout treatment.
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) – An MRI uses radiofrequency waves to create a detailed cross-sectional image of the esophagus and surrounding tissues. An MRI has much greater soft tissue contrast than a CT scan, making it especially useful in the detection of tumors and metastases.
- PET/CT (Positron Emission Tomography/Computerized Tomography) Scan – A PET/CT scan combines the 3D images of a CT scan with a PET scan, which reveals abnormal metabolic activity in the tissues. By blending these two images into one during a single exam, our physicians can identify abnormal activity and know precisely where this activity is taking place. PET/CT scans may reveal cancerous cells before tumors or structural changes in the esophagus are present.
Next Topic: Esophageal Cancer Staging