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Is Endoscopy Used to Detect Cancer?

Is Endoscopy Used to Detect Cancer?

A test that examines the inside of the body is an endoscopy. An extremely long, flexible tube with a tiny camera and light on the end is an endoscope. The doctor employs various endoscope types to examine the inside of various bodily parts. Depending on the body part the doctor is examining, the test's name will change.
An endoscopy may take place to help identify the source of your symptoms. Through the endoscope, a physician or trained nurse (endoscopist) can also collect tissue samples during this examination that appear abnormal (biopsies). You can occasionally need an endoscopy for medical procedures like haemorrhage management or stent placement.

Parts of the body examined during an endoscopy

An endoscopy will likely take place to examine the inside of your:
food pipe (oesophagus)
duodenum, which is the first part of the small bowel that attaches to the stomach
This test is a gastroscopy or esophagogastric duodenoscopy (OGD).


Symptoms that are examined during an endoscopy

You may have this test if you have symptoms such as:

  • abnormal bleeding
  • indigestion
  • low levels of iron (iron deficiency anaemia)
  • difficulty swallowing

If your oesophagus has Barrett's disease, You'll have routine gastroscopies to look for any alterations in the cells lining your food pipe. Looking down the endoscope, the endoscopist searches for any spots that appear odd. Through the endoscope, biopsies can also take place if any are there.

Types of endoscopy

Other types of endoscopy include:

  • bronchoscopy to look inside your windpipe (trachea) and bronchi (tubes going into lungs)
  • cystoscopy to look inside your bladder
  • hysteroscopy to look inside your womb
  • colonoscopy to look inside your large bowel
  • flexible sigmoidoscopy to look inside the lower part of your large bowel

Other tools used during an endoscopy

An endoscope often features a channel through which a physician can insert instruments. These devices perform treatment or tissue collection.

A few examples of tools are:

  • Flexible forceps - These devices that resemble tongs collect a tissue sample.
  • Surgical forceps - These eliminate a suspicious growth or tissue sample.
  • Cytology swabs - They get samples of cells.
  • Forceps for removing sutures - These eliminate internal sutures.

Why would a patient need an endoscopy?

Several factors may lead to your doctor advising 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 you don't remove them.


To determine a disease's diagnosis or the origin of symptoms. Your doctor will advise a particular endoscopy depending on the body part that is under examination. To administer care. Doctors use endoscopes during some procedures.

The following treatments could use an endoscope:

  • Laparoscopic surgery takes place through a series of tiny skin incisions.
  • Laser therapy kills cancer cells with a strong light beam.
  • Utilizing heat, microwave ablation eliminates malignant tissue.
  • The surgery takes place using an endoscope introduced into the digestive tract called endoscopic mucosal resection or endoscopic submucosal dissection.
  • Photodynamic therapy involves injecting a tumour with a light-sensitive material before using a laser to cut it out.
  • Medicine administration is another name for medication distribution.

Does endoscopy detect cancer?

An endoscopy can aid in the early detection of cancer in many body regions. On the other hand, it does not aid in treating cancer. Several conditions, including the following, may require an endoscopy:
Prevention and early cancer detection: A biopsy can take place during an endoscopy to assist in the diagnosis of cancer or another condition.
To determine the origin of symptoms: An endoscope can be placed to find the cause of symptoms like vomiting, stomach pain, breathing issues, stomach ulcers, difficulty swallowing, or gastrointestinal bleeding.
For help with treatment: During various operations, doctors employ endoscopes. When used to remove a polyp or cauterize (heat-seal) a bleeding vessel, an endoscope can directly treat a problem.
Sometimes an endoscopy takes place with another procedure, such as an ultrasound scan. It can be used to place the ultrasonic probe close to difficult-to-scan organs, such as the pancreas.
Certain modern endoscopes have sensitive lights for narrow-band imaging. Certain blue and green wavelengths are used in this imaging technique, which makes it simpler for doctors to spot precancerous conditions. Since the patient must be sedated, local anaesthetic is used throughout the surgery.

Surgical assistance

Thanks to improvements in endoscopy, a tailored endoscope can now be utilised for a variety of surgical procedures. The process is consequently less invasive. Keyhole surgery utilises a laparoscope, a modified endoscope (also referred to as laparoscopic surgery).

This approach to surgery provides for significantly faster recovery times and less blood loss than traditional surgical techniques.


Endoscopy is more of a diagnostic tool than a therapeutic tool, as was already established. As a result, endoscopy can help detect cancer and possibly even facilitate surgery. It might be challenging to distinguish between malignant lesions and healthy or damaged stomach tissue, even using an endoscope. The intricacies of extremely early cancer can be more easily detected by doctors with significant expertise using this screening method.
Recent developments in endoscopic technology, such as high-quality images and dyes, have made it possible for doctors to identify cancer at even earlier stages. People can receive a diagnosis and treatment early because of the advancement of advanced technology and skilled medical professionals. Additionally, the likelihood of a positive outcome increases the earlier the cancer is treated.

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