Diagnosing Esophageal Cancer

Support Throughout the Diagnostic Process

Our physicians, nurses and support staff are here to advise you, listen to you and calm your fears. Your physicians will explain your diagnosis and compassionately offer suggestions for treatment and care. They’re here for you.

Also available for counsel, support and guidance are nurse coordinators, oncology social workers and a pastoral team. They’ll help you navigate through the system and provide additional assistance, including:

  • Social support
  • Spiritual guidance
  • Emotional support
  • Practical advice
  • Tips on coping

Call on them. They’re here for you.

As with many cancers, cancer of the esophagus may not cause symptoms. Sometimes you may have esophageal cancer for years and not know it. Yet, like many other cancers, the earlier your esophageal cancer is detected, the greater the likelihood of cure.

At Scott & White, you’ll have a team of excellent physicians working together to evaluate and diagnose your esophageal cancer. Comprehensive, personalized care is our standard.

Esophageal Cancer Diagnostic Services

Scott & White offers you excellent diagnostic services. We have invested in the most advanced diagnostic equipment available, providing precise images of your GI system to detect polyps and tumors early, when cure is most likely.

Our staff includes:

  • Nationally recognized diagnostic radiologists, who expertly interpret the images, providing your oncologists with necessary details for treatment planning.
  • Board-certified pathologists. Our physicians rely on them to expertly classify and stage tumors.

At Scott & White, all patients who undergo esophagoscopy are examined for cancer, and all patients who undergo surgery for GERD or achalasia are screened for cancer as well.

You may be at greater risk for developing cancer of the esophagus if you have certain medical conditions, such as:

  • Barretts esophagus
  • Chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Achalasia

Your physician may recommend regular check-ups that include esophagoscopy — examining your esophagus with endoscopy (looking inside your esophagus with a very small high-definition camera attached to a thin tube).

If you have signs or symptoms of esophageal cancer, your physician may recommend one or more of the following tests.

Laboratory and Physical Tests

Your physician may begin with a thorough physical exam and medical history. Other tests can include:

  • Upper endoscopy (esophagogastroduodenoscopy)
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Biopsy
  • Pulmonary function test (PFT)
  • Exercise stress test
  • Stress echocardiography
  • Echocardiogram

Imaging Studies

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