If stomach cancer is suspected by a physician, he will usually hand-over the patient to a gastroenterologist, who’s a specialist in digestive issues. The gastroenterologist will normally begin by asking his new patient about the symptoms that appear to be the cause forconcern, together with questions about their family health history.
This evaluation may include:
- Endoscopy (Fibergastroscopy) – This is where a thin endoscopic ultrasound is inserted through the mouth (following the throat was numbed with anesthetic spray), the esophagus, and into the stomach area.
- X-ray – Generally, an X-ray will be able to Reveal whether the cancerous cells are restricted to the mucosa (top layer of cells of the gut ), and the submucosa (thin layer of muscle of the stomach below the lamina propria [layer of connective tissue]) in early stage stomach cancer by using electromagnetic radiation. X-rays are generally utilized in the diagnosis of several kinds of cancers.
- Computed Tomography (CT Scan) – A widely used High-resolution three-dimensional imaging scanner which uses X-rays to make cross-sectional pictures of the interior of a patients gut; demonstrating whether the gastric wall was invaded by cancerous cells or not. The CT scan may also be used to reveal whether the cancer has metastasized through the bloodstream stations.
- Endoscopic Ultrasound – Used to diagnose the TNM staging of Stomach cancer by sending sound waves which bounce off the gut tissue and other organs. These sound waves are then converted by a computer into detailed images revealing the layers of the gut from the echoes caused. The images detail just how much the stomach was invaded by the cancer and to what level.
- Laparoscopy – This will provide the gastroenterologist a precise identification of the cancer. An adequate treatment program could be offered once the staging was diagnosed.
Any of these capsule endoscopy diagnostic methods may be used on a patient, although much depends on which point the gastroenterologist considers the stomach cancer to be at.