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Doctors often will suspect esophageal cancer when patients give a history of certain symptoms.
If a doctor or facility outside Stanford has already given you a diagnosis, we will have your results sent to our pathologists. They will review your test results and confirm or correct your diagnosis.
At Stanford, we tailor the diagnostic phase of esophageal cancer care to each individual patient. If you need further testing to complete your diagnosis, your doctor and care team will work with you to determine which tests you need. Tests may include:
Imaging (Radiology) » To obtain the most precise understanding of your cancer, your doctor may schedule you for different types of imaging that diagnose cancer. If you have been screened elsewhere and received abnormal results, we may perform additional imaging, if needed. The most commonly used tests include CT scans and PET scans, which help evaluate if the cancer has spread outside of the local area of the esophagus.
Biopsy (Pathology) » If your imaging or other screening tests show that you may have cancer, you will need an endoscopy and biopsy if not already performed. This test takes a tiny sample of cells from abnormal areas of esophageal tissue during an endoscopy exam.
Lab tests (Blood draws) » Before and during treatment, your doctor will ask you to have your blood drawn and tested at a lab. Blood tests can provide a variety of information, helping to evaluate your overall medical status and plan your course of cancer treatment.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.