My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Ask Your Question

WebMD Answers

120 Characters remaining
120 Characters remaining
  • First, try and keep your question as short as possible.
  • Include specific words that will help us identify questions that may already have your answer.
  • If you don't find your answer, you can post your question to WebMD Experts and Contributors.

Close

Posted: | Report This Report Question |
Q.

How is esophageal cancer diagnosed?

Related Topics: Cancer, Esophagus
 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

8,020 Answers
253,612 Helpful Votes
306 Followers
A.

To diagnose esophageal cancer, your doctor will review your symptoms, medical history, and examine you. In addition, he or she may order certain blood tests and X-ray exams.

Tests for esophageal cancer may include:

  • Barium swallow X-ray, in which you drink a liquid that coats your esophagus. This makes the esophagus stand out on the X-ray so that your doctor can identify certain problems.
  • Endoscopy: the doctor passes an endoscope, a thin, lighted tube, down your throat into your esophagus to examine it. Endoscopic ultrasound uses sound waves to provide more information about the extent of tumor involvement in nearby tissues.
  • Biopsy: during an endoscopy, the doctor can take cells or tissue from your esophagus. The cells are examined under a microscope for the presence of cancer.

Other tests, including computed tomography (CT) scans, positron emission tomography (PET) scan, thoracoscopy, and laparaoscopy, may be performed to determine if the cancer has spread, or metastasized, outside of the esophagus. This process is called "staging." The doctor needs this information in order to plan your treatment.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

Posted:
| Report This Report Answer
Archived: March 20, 2014

Was this helpful?

YesNo

Thanks for your feedback.

156 of 168 found this helpful
Read the Original Article: Esophageal Cancer