Usually, oesophageal cancers are discovered when a person has signs or symptoms. If oesophageal cancer is suspected, studies and tests will be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. If cancer is discovered, additional tests will be performed to help determine the extent of cancer.
Medical history and physical exam
If you have symptoms of oesophageal cancer, the doctor will ask questions about your medical history to analyze possible risk factors and learn more about the symptoms.
Your doctor will also do a test to detect possible signs of oesophageal cancer and other medical problems. The doctor will probably pay special attention to your neck and chest areas.
If the test results are abnormal, your doctor will probably order tests to help find the problem. You may also be asked to contact a gastroenterologist (a doctor who specializes in diseases of the digestive system) for further tests and treatment.
Imaging studies to find oesophageal cancer
The imaging using sound waves, X-rays, magnetic fields, or radioactive imaging inside the body substances. Imaging studies can be done for many reasons, such as:
- Help find a suspicious area that could be cancer
- Know if cancer has spread, and if so, how far
- Help determine if the treatment is effective
- Detect possible signs of cancer returning after treatment
Study with barium intake
In this test, the patient swallows a thick, limestone fluid called barium that covers the walls of the esophagus. When x-rays are taken, barium delineates the esophagus. This test can be done alone or as part of a series of x-rays that include the stomach and part of the intestine, called x-rays of the upper gastrointestinal tract. A barium intake test can show any abnormal area on the normally uniform surface of the inner lining of the esophagus, but cannot be used to determine how far cancer has spread outside the esophagus.
A CT (computed tomography, CT) uses x - rays to produce detailed cross-sectionall images of the body. This study can help determine if oesophageal cancer has spread to nearby organs and lymph nodes (bean-shaped groups of immune system cells where cancers often spread first) or to distant parts of the body. Before conducting the study, you may be asked to drink approximately 1 to 2 pints (between half and one liter) of a liquid called oral contrast. This helps to delineate the esophagus and intestines. If you are having trouble swallowing, you should inform your doctor before the CT. Before having a CT scan, it is essential to know CT scan cost in south Delhi.
Magnetic resonance imaging
Like computed tomography (CT), the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging, MRI) provides detailed images of soft tissues. However, MRIs use powerful radio waves and magnets instead of X-rays. To better show the details, a contrast material, called gadolinium, may be injected into a vein before the study is done. MRI can be used to see abnormal areas in the brain and spinal cord that may be due to the spread of cancer.
Positron emission tomography
Generally, the positron emission tomography (positron emission tomography, PET) uses a form of radioactive sugar (known as fluorodeoxyglucose or FDG) is injected into the blood. Normal cells use different amounts of sugar, depending on how fast they are growing. Cancer cells, which grow rapidly, are more likely to absorb larger amounts of radioactive sugar than normal cells. These areas of radioactivity can be seen on a PET CT scan using a special camera.