Brooklyn NY patients get to know endoscopic ultrasound to detect cancers early, when they’re easiest to treat
Colorectal cancers are among the most common types of cancer in the U.S. Only breast, lung, and prostate cancers are diagnosed more frequently. These and other gastrointestinal cancers and conditions may be identified with endoscopic ultrasound.
The Board-certified gastroenterologist at Atlantic Gastroenterology, Dr. Alexander Shapsis, encourages the public to acquaint themselves with this hospital-based test, administered by highly-skilled specialists. This test is not offered at Atlantic Gastroenterology offices as it is a hospital-based test and is administered at a hospital.
Notably, EUS provides a clear and accurate picture of the cause of symptoms, including the extent or stage of cancer that is present, and if that cancer has spread to lymph nodes and distant organs.
The power of early detection
The National Cancer Institute reports the five-year survival rate for patients with localized colon and rectal cancer is 89% and 90% respectively. For those patients whose cancer has spread beyond neighboring lymph nodes and structures, survival rates fall to 71% for both colon and rectal cancers, while patients whose cancer has spread to distant parts of the body (such as the liver and lungs) have 14% and 15% survival rates after five years. The sooner Dr. Shapsis can diagnose cancers and other conditions, the earlier you’ll be able to benefit from effective intervention that can lead to additional, quality years.
The benefits of EUS
Endoscopic ultrasound is a minimally invasive alternative to exploratory surgical procedures. Instead of making large incisions to access organs in the chest and abdomen, a small pliable tube or endoscope is passed through your mouth and into the digestive tract. The tube is equipped with a small ultrasound device (a “transducer”) that produces sound waves and generates precision images of tissues.
EUS may be paired with fine-needle aspiration, which involves passing another device through the endoscope. That device guides a slender needle to the lymph nodes, masses, and other abnormal structures. So, fluid and tissue may be extracted for further analysis.
As a minimally invasive diagnostic tool, the endoscopic ultrasound:
- Is well-tolerated with medications administered to help keep you calm
- Requires minimal preparation; your gastroenterologist will go over when to fast prior to the procedure, and medications that you may need to refrain from, such as blood thinners that increase your risk of side effects should EUS be combined with fine-needle aspiration
- Is an outpatient procedure
- Can be completed in around 30 to 90 minutes
- Is a “no-downtime” procedure; you can go home afterward, but you’ll need to arrange transportation in advance, as sedatives can make you drowsy
If you’re concerned about unexplainable abdominal pain and weight loss, and other symptoms, contact Atlantic Gastroenterology. Call 718 521-2840 to schedule your evaluation with Dr. Shapsis at one of our two convenient locations in Brooklyn. EUS administered in a hospital setting may end up being an appropriate course of action for you.
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