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How Accurate is Endoscopy for Cancer?

Endoscopy is a method of diagnosis of various factors, such as any abnormal growth or any other complications in the internal organs. It is not a complete form of treatment for anything.  An endoscopy can help detect cancer in various parts of the body. During the endoscopic procedure, an endoscope helps to see inside an organ or other hollow body cavity. An endoscope is a device the doctor inserts into the patient’s body during an endoscopy.

It helps in cancer diagnosis in the biopsies when there are symptoms that indicate cancer. And can help to check for various symptoms such as bleeding, inflammation, vomiting and so on.  It can also helps in treatments such as cauterization of a bleeding vessel, widening a narrow esophagus, clipping off a polyp or removing a foreign object. With the help of recent endoscopic technology advances, such as high-quality images and dyes, doctors can detect cancer at even earlier stages. 

The Procedure

Through the endoscope, a physician or trained nurse (endoscopist) can also collect tissue samples that appear abnormal (biopsies) during this examination. An endoscopy might be necessary for medical procedures such as controlling bleeding or stent placement.  Endoscopy helps to see the insides of areas such as:

  • food pipe (esophagus)
  • stomach
  • duodenum, which is the first part of the small bowel that attaches to the stomach

When is endoscopy done?

Endoscopy is a method of diagnosis of various factors, such as any abnormal growth or any other complications in the internal organs. It is not a form of treatment for anything.  An endoscopy can help detect cancer in various parts of the body. However, it is not a medical procedure to treat cancer. An endoscopy might be necessary for various reasons such as:

Early cancer detection and prevention

An endoscopy can help to perform a biopsy to support cancer or other disease diagnoses for the confirmation of a diagnosis

To determine the origin of symptoms

An endoscope also helps to look for the source of symptoms like vomiting, stomach pain, breathing problems, stomach ulcers, difficulties swallowing, or gastrointestinal bleeding.

For treatment assistance

Doctors use endoscopy during some procedures. An endoscope can treat a condition directly; for example, it can help to remove a polyp or cauterize (close with heat) a bleeding vessel.

Upper Endoscopy for stomach tumors

The procedure known as endoscopic gastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is an upper endoscopy that aids in the detection of most stomach tumors. The doctor uses a narrow, illuminated tube known as an endoscope to examine inside your stomach. The medical professional slides it down the throat and into the stomach. The patient is usually under anesthesia during the procedure. Your esophagus and a portion of your duodenum, which is the first part of your small intestine, are also examined during an upper endoscopy. A small sample goes for testing for cancer cells when examining abnormal tissue. This sample is the biopsy. The material then undergoes examination under a microscope by a pathologist. Unfortunately, some stomach cancers can be hard to see during an endoscopy. 

Surgical assistance 

A customized endoscope can now help in various types of surgery thanks to advancements in endoscopy. As a result, the procedure is less intrusive. A modified endoscope called a laparoscope is used for keyhole surgery (also referred to as laparoscopic surgery).

Compared to conventional surgical methods, this method allows patients to lose less blood during and after surgery and recover considerably more quickly.

Cancer detection and Endoscopy 

However, it can detect various cancers in the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. It can also aid in the biopsies making cancer detection more accurate. However, an endoscopy alone cannot help in determining cancer as the evidence need not be completely accurate. As already mentioned, endoscopy is more of a diagnostic than a treatment tool. Endoscopy can therefore aid in the detection of cancer and perhaps even make surgery easier. Even with an endoscope, it could be difficult to tell the difference between cancerous tumors and healthy or damaged stomach tissue. This screening procedure makes it easier for doctors with substantial experience to identify the subtleties of very early cancer.

With the help of recent advancements in endoscopic technology, including high-quality images and dyes, doctors are now able to detect cancer at even earlier stages. The development of cutting-edge technology and trained medical personnel allows people to receive a diagnosis and treatment at an early stage. Additionally, the earlier cancer treatment takes place, the higher the likelihood of a successful outcome. In short, endoscopy provides a decent diagnosis however, the accuracy of it is still unclear. 

Factors that may lead to an endoscopy

To detect cancer early and prevent it. For instance, doctors do a colonoscopy, a type of endoscopy, to check for colorectal cancer. Your doctor may remove growths referred to as polyps during a colonoscopy. Cancer could spread from polyps if they are not removed. To determine a disease’s diagnosis or the origin of symptoms.

Sometimes an endoscopy is combined with another procedure, such an ultrasound scan. It can be used to place the ultrasonic probe close to difficult-to-scan organs, such as the pancreas.

There are certain modern endoscopes that have sensitive lights for narrow-band imaging. Certain blue and green wavelengths in this imaging technique, makes it simpler for doctors to spot precancerous conditions.  Local anesthesia is necessary in most cases during the procedure. As the person has to be under sedation. 

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