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The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Stomach Cancer Diagnostic Services

Early and accurate diagnosis of stomach (gastric) cancers can lead to better success of treating the disease. The specialists at the center have extensive experience in detecting and identifying all types of stomach cancer, as well as differentiating it from other stomach conditions (e.g., ulcers) that share similar initial symptoms.

The Center for Stomach Cancer Care's multidisciplinary team of gastroenterologists, surgical oncologists, medical oncologists and radiologists see a high volume of patients each year and employ an array of state-of-the-art diagnostic tools.

In addition to the expertise that comes with treating a large number of cases every year, the advanced screening technology we use means that our patients can expect an early and accurate diagnosis and correct identification and staging of stomach cancer. Some of the diagnostic tests you may undergo include:

Blood Tests

Imaging Tests

Biopsies

Biopsies for stomach cancer are performed using fiberoptic endoscopy. A flexible light tube is inserted in the patient’s mouth and extended through the esophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestines.

  • Suspicious areas where cancer may be present are sampled by biopsy and sent to pathology for identification and staging.
  • Evaluation by an expert endoscopist is necessary since stomach cancer can occasionally be submucosal (within the walls of the stomach).

Once the biopsies from the suspect tissue (and oftentimes the surrounding lymph nodes) are collected, they are sent to our pathologist, who is able to determine:

  • Type of cancer (for example, adenocarcinoma, carcinoid, gastrointestinal stromal tumor or lymphoma)
  • Stage of cancer (how advanced the cancer is)
  • Specific genetic or molecular characteristics of the cancer that make it vulnerable to targeted drug therapies

Our team of physicians will use all of these variables to develop the patient’s treatment plan. The medical team will provide a comprehensive explanation of the staging and answer any questions.