click to enlarge
If you have been told that you have or might have cancer based on the results of tests such as standard sonogram/ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, endoscopy, ERCP, biopsy, blood tests, etc, confirming the diagnosis becomes the most important next step. Then, if it is cancer, determining the exact extent of the malignancy (staging) is essential to getting the best treatment. Sometimes a mass or tumor is found which may look like a cancer, but is not. Masses can sometimes be caused by inflammation that may clear up on its own.
Confirming that a mass is a cancer is important, and can usually be done with a special blood test or a biopsy. Sometimes, however, a suspected diagnosis of cancer cannot be confirmed or disproven. EUS can be very helpful in these situations because it can image and characterize the mass better than any other non-operative evaluation. Most non-operative imaging techniques can not accurately identify tumors smaller than 2 cm. EUS not only finds tumors less than 2 cm, but accurately stages these small tumors, which otherwise, maybe impossible without an operation. This accurate staging allows patients to get the most appropriate treatment.
Also, EUS can show if a mass is solid, and therefore if it can be safely biopsied. A biopsy specimen can be obtained more accurately with EUS because EUS allows pinpoint placement of a needle into the mass to obtain tissue or aspiration.
Stromal Cell Tumors (leiomyoma, sarcoma and other muscle wall tumors)