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Diagnosis of stomach cancer (gastric cancer)

Endoscopy
Endoscopy

The doctor will refer the patient for gastroscopy where a flexible camera (a flexible fibre optic tube) is passed via the mouth into the stomach to directly view the lining and take samples, biopsies.

 

The alternative diagnostic test is a barium meal study, where the patient drinks some barium solution which shows up on a normal x-ray. This would only show an irregularity in the wall of the stomach rather than showing up the tumour itself. 

An endoscopy, however, is the usual first choice investigation.

 

Other tests done are designed to see if the tumour has spread: these include an endoscopic ultrasound, CT scan and occasionally a laparoscopy. A laparoscopy, done under general anaesthetic, is where a small camera is put into the abdominal cavity and allows a direct view of the lining of the abdomen and the bowels. it may show abnormalities that cannot be seen on the CT scan.


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