You might have a number of tests to investigate your symptoms and confirm a diagnosis of oesophageal cancer, including:
- endoscopy, where an endoscope (a thin tube with a light and a lens for viewing) is passed through the mouth into the digestive tract
- biopsy, where the endoscope is used to remove a small sample of tissue for examination under a microscope
- endoscopic ultrasound, where an endoscope is used to perform an ultrasound by releasing sound waves – this can show how far the cancer has spread into the wall of the oesophagus
- computed tomography (CT) scan, which uses a series of X-rays to make a detailed picture of areas inside the body
- positron emission tomography (PET) scan, which takes pictures of areas of the body after a radioactive sugar has been injected into the blood.
1Australian Cancer Network Colorectal Cancer Guidelines Revision Committee (2005). Guidelines for the prevention, early detection and management of colorectal cancer. Sydney: The Cancer Council Australia and Australian Cancer Network.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network (2012). NCCN guidelines for patients: colon cancer. Fort Washington, Philadelphia: NCCN.