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4 Diagnosis Methods for Gastrointestinal Cancer

Are you taking up a gastrointestinal cancer CE course? The condition you’ll be studying is one of the hardest types of malignant growth to detect, as it barely has visible signs in its early stages. You should know how to effectively diagnose it as soon as your patient starts showing any symptoms. Here are a few methods you can use.

Barium X-ray

This type of X-ray imaging is a quick and non-invasive way to check for abnormalities inside the body. The chest and abdomen are exposed to a small amount of radiation for a few seconds, and the resulting image is captured on a metal film.

Unlike in normal X-rays, the patient drinks a substancethat contains barium before the procedure. This mixture coats the lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, making it appear clearer on the radiograph.

Medical professionals examine the X-ray imagesfor any abnormal shapes. They even compare these pictures to examples taken from gastrointestinal cancer CME resources to see whether they’re similar.


With this non-surgical digital imaging technique, doctors see exactly what’s happening inside a person’s GI system. In this procedure, they insert a flexible tube with a camera and a light at one end into the sedated patient’s mouth. Also known as an endoscope, this device passes through the throat and stomach until it finally reaches the small intestine.

Doctors view a live picture feed taken by the camera using a colored television screen. They check for any unusual formations while the endoscope moves along the GI tract. This is usually done alongside a biopsy.


This method also uses a flexible camera tube to see into the body. But, unlike endoscopy, laparoscopy is considered a minor surgical procedure. Instead of passing the device through aperson’s mouth, doctors insert it into the abdominal cavity through a small incision made near the belly button. This enables them to check for any cancerous growth in the lining of the abdomen or liver.


Once doctors know where the abnormal growth is, they perform a biopsy. This is the most definitive method of diagnosis for gastrointestinal cancer.

In this procedure, surgeons take a small tissue sample from the affected area.The specimen is then checked by a pathologist under a microscope. They confirm whether the growth is cancerous based on the cellular activity they observe.

These are some techniques used to diagnose this condition. Learn more about them when you enroll in a gastrointestinal cancer CE course.

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