NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Esophageal Cancer, Version 1.2016
Preparing for treatment
Upper GI endoscopy
An upper GI (
ntestinal) endoscopy allows your
doctor to see inside your esophagus and stomach. It
is also called an EGD (
For this test, a tool called an endoscope is used.
Part of the endoscope will be guided down your
mouth or nose. This part looks like a thin, long tube.
The tube is a little thicker than a pencil if guided down
your mouth, and if down your nose, it’s about as thick
a piece of spaghetti.
See Figure 7
. You will likely
be sedated and thus unaware of the test while it is
occurring. However, general anesthesia is sometimes
At the tip of the endoscope is a light and camera
that allows your doctor to see your esophagus. Your
doctor will record where the tumor is, its size and
length, and how much it is blocking your esophagus.
Any nodules and any areas with Barrett’s esophagus
will also be noted.
Your doctor may obtain a sample of the tumor. This
is called a biopsy. Also, samples from tissue at high
risk for cancer and tissue with possible cancer may
be collected. The presence of Barrett’s metaplasia or
dysplasia increases the likelihood of cancer.
Biopsy samples are removed with small forceps
that are inserted through the open channel of the
endoscope. Six to eight biopsy samples may be
removed. Biopsy samples will be sent to a pathologist
for testing. After the endoscopy, you may feel some
swelling and sound hoarse.
ound) uses both imaging
and an endoscope to see how deep the tumor has
grown into the esophageal wall. Also, signs of cancer
within lymph nodes and other nearby organs can be
Like EGD, you will likely be sedated for EUS. The
EUS endoscope will be guided down your esophagus.
Upper GI endoscopy
“Scopes” are tools that are inserted into
your body to let your doctor see live video
of inside your body. An endoscope is one
such tool that is guided down your mouth
into your stomach. It allows your doctor
to see the inner wall of your esophagus
and stomach. If ultrasound is used, your
doctor will be able to see the deeper wall
layers and nearby organs.
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