We use endoscopy to examine areas inside the body for the diagnosis, staging and treatment of cancer.
In an endoscopy, an endoscope (a thin, tube-like device equipped with a camera) is inserted into the body through an opening (e.g., the mouth, anus or urethra) or small incision. Images of areas inside the body can then be seen on a screen.
This technology allows us to explore, in detail, internal structures of the body, such as the esophagus, colon, rectum, stomach and chest.
Endoscopies have a wide variety of uses. We may use endoscopies to:
- Detect cancer at an early stage
- Detect Barrett’s esophagus or other types of dysplasia related to GERD or acid reflux
- Diagnose a problem or condition
- Take biopsies or tissue samples
- Locate and remove cancerous (or precancerous) tissue
- Remove blockages, such as in the lungs
- Determine if cancer has spread
There are many different kinds of endoscopes or “scopes,” which are specially designed to look at certain parts of the body. Some scopes are hollow, while others have miniature video cameras attached to the end.
An endoscopy is minimally invasive, requires a smaller incision than traditional surgery, which helps to minimize blood loss, and usually takes less time in the operating room.