Wanting to Know If I Have Cancer

Updated on December 05, 2008
L.M. asks from South Bend, IN
7 answers

Does anyone know, will an upper G.I. show if you have cancer of the pancreas,stomach and intestines? Will it also show if you have gallstones?

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answers from Cleveland on

Hi L.. First of all, don't panic. If your doctor has suggested that you might have cancer, GET A SECON OPINION. There is a radioactive test that screens your gallbladder and measures how it is working. I have had this test twice and it showed that my gallbladder was shutting down slowly. I am also old enough to be your mom. If there is a history of gallbladder problems in your family, I suggest you talk to a doctor about that test. I had both upper GI and colonoscopy along with the test and after one month had the test again. It showed that my gallbladder was shutting down and I had acid reflux from my intestines to my stomach (not pretty). I had my gallbladder out and am taking rx meds for the reflux. I am controlled. If you don't feel comfortable about your care, ask questions. Doctors are human and don't always know everything. Go to a specialist if you need to. Question everything. THIS IS YOUR RIGHT. IT IS YOUR BODY. Good Luck.

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answers from Indianapolis on

I believe the upper GI is only for the esophagus and stomach. For the Intestinal track it has to be a lower GI. I'm not sure about the pancreas or gallbladder. I would think that would take an ultrasound or MRI. I have wondered myself several times if I have something serious. I constantly have stomach/intestinal troubles -- heartburn, bad gas/colic, constipation, etc. The docs have told me I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Prayers & Best wishes.



answers from Cincinnati on

What are your symptoms? An upper GI will only show the esophagos and stomach. You would need an ultrasound or MRI to have your gall bladder, liver, and pancreas checked. If you have upper abdominal pain, especially on the right side, it may be gall stones, and those should show up on an ultrasound. There is also a HIDA scan that your doctor may request, which shows your gall bladder activity. I have had all of these done a few years ago... they all came back normal, but I still had my gall bladder removed, and the pain went away. Good luck!



answers from Columbus on

An upper GI may show questionable areas of the stomach and upper intestines but there would have to be a biopsy done to be definite - which cannot be done during that procedure. I am pretty sure it doesn't show the pancreas or gallbladder as you drink barium which only highlights what it touches. Usually an ultrasound is done to check for gallstones and if they are small it's usually not a big deal. Anyways, upper GI not fun but tolerable....had enough to know!!!



answers from Indianapolis on

L., the best test for the pancreas is usually a cat scan (CT). It can sometimes show you problems with the gallbladder, but usually if there's something seen on the CT with your gallbladder (or if there's not and they still suspect that), they'll verify it with ultrasound. As others said, the UGI just deals with the esophagus and stomach/beginning of small intestine. There are a HUGE range of tests that are run for the various organs/systems in your abdomen. They usually start with the easiest/most affordable and go from there. Good luck in finding the reason for your problems. Try not to think the worst...it OFTEN is not that!!



answers from Cleveland on

I guess I don't understand your question. Were you told you have cancer? Are you jumping the gun? I have had several upper GI's. It checks for damage due to reflux. Mine also revealed that my stomach was emptying it's contents slowly. IT can also be used for ulcers. The endoscopy and colonoscopy do a better job of checking for cancer and other things due to the fact they can do a biopsy. I would be curious what your symptoms are and why at such a young age you are worried about this. I ad to swallow some liquid and they watched it go from down my throat to the emptying of my stomach. I hope there is nothing wrong with you.



answers from Cleveland on

Hello L.,
I am not for certain, but I think a G.I. will only show what is going on in your intestinal track. I would think you will need ultra sound to check these areas. My heart goes out to you for having to worry about this possiblilty and for your wonderfull husband that sure seems to be pretty busy. All our best this holiday season to you and your family.

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