How is small intestine cancer diagnosed?

Procedures for diagnosing small intestine cancer can be divided into four categories: physical exam with medical history, imaging tests, biopsies, and blood tests. In a physical exam with medical history, your doctor will ask you questions about your current symptoms and diseases or conditions you have had in the past.

You may undergo one or more imaging test, including a barium x-ray (in which you drink or are injected with barium is drunk so the doctor can better see the organ with an x-ray), a computed tomography (CT) scan (an imaging system in with pictures that are taken with x-rays show up on a computer), or an endoscopy (in which a tube or a capsule with a tiny camera attached enters the small intestine and takes pictures).

Blood tests include blood chemistry studies, which check for increased or decreased levels of certain substances in organs that may indicate a problem in that organ resulting from cancer, and fecal occult blood tests, in which your doctor examines a small sample of your feces for hidden blood. A biopsy is a procedure in which a piece of the tumor is removed and studied under a microscope to determine whether it is malignant (cancer) or benign (not cancer).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.