Testing for GIST: Tools for Diagnosis
What tests are done for KIT+ GIST?
The following tests may be used to determine the cause of symptoms: computed tomography (CT) scan; positron emission tomography (PET) scan; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); and endoscopy. Have a question about testing? Look to Testing FAQs.
Why CT scans
CT scans are the most valuable imaging tool for GISTs. They are used for both diagnosis and to assess the efficacy of treatment. Read more.
Why PET scans
PET scans are used to assess the chemical and physical changes occurring within tumors. They are not a substitute for CT scans, but may be performed in conjunction with them after diagnosis. Read more.
MRIs are used to find the extent of cancer in the abdomen, although usually CT scans are adequate. MRIs are also helpful in assessing recurrence (or metastases) to other organs, particularly the brain or spine. Read more.
Endoscopy is occasionally used but because KIT+ GIST tumors often lie below the lining of the GI tract, it is much harder to recognize a GIST compared with other cancers. Read more.
Why endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is used to find the exact location of the tumor and determine its size. Read more.
What is scanxiety?
Scanxiety is the stress that cancer patients experience before, during, and while waiting for the results of periodic tests that their healthcare provider may order to see whether their cancer has grown or not.
What can I do to overcome scanxiety?
Talk to your doctor about any emotional stress. Don't let fear prevent you from seeking necessary tests or treatment. Your doctor may prescribe an anti-anxiety or sleeping medication for you.
Your doctor may recommend psychotherapy to help you with your concerns.