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Stomach Cancer Diagnosis

Stomach Cancer Diagnosis: Exams and Tests

Exams and tests used to make a stomach cancer diagnosis may include:
  • Blood tests
  • Upper gastrointestinal (GI) series (barium swallow)
  • Endoscopy
  • Biopsy
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan.

Blood Tests

In order to make a stomach cancer diagnosis, your doctor may order a blood chemistry study or a complete blood count.
Blood Chemistry Study
A blood chemistry study is a procedure that measures the amount of certain substances released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body. An unusual (higher or lower than normal) amount of a substance can be a sign of disease in the organ or tissue that produces it.
Complete Blood Count
A complete blood count is a procedure that checks for the following:
  • The number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets
  • The amount of hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen) in the red blood cells
  • The portion of the sample made up of red blood cells.

Upper Gastrointestinal (GI) Series

For an upper GI series, doctors will order x-rays of your esophagus and stomach. The x-rays are taken after you drink a barium solution, which will make your stomach show up more clearly on the x-rays.


During an endoscopy, the doctor will use a thin, lighted tube (endoscope) to look into your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). The tube is passed through your mouth and esophagus to the stomach. Prior to your endoscopy, your doctor will numb your throat with an anesthetic spray or give you medicine to help you relax.
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