Font Size

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (cont.)

Gastrointestinal Tract Cancer and Digestive Endoscopy

Endoscopy is very important to detect early cancers developing from the mucous coverings in either the upper or lower tracts of the digestive tube. Colon cancers can develop if intestinal polyps are not removed. Polyps can grow until they become a cancer.

Several studies report that growth of these polyps may take as long as 10 years. People who are at low risk for cancer, or even have no symptoms, should schedule a colonoscopy every 3-5 years after age 50 years. Those who are high-risk should begin regular screening based on their physician's recommendation. The following conditions can put you at high risk for cancer.

  • HP (Helicobacter pylori) infections: H pylori bacteria are thought to cause gastric tumors. People who test positive for H pylori should be scheduled for an EGD every 1-2 years to detect early signs of cancer.
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Family or personal history of GI cancer or cancer in other organs
  • Family history of developing gland like polyps
  • People with gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, especially those who smoke and drink regularly and complain of chronic heartburn, are at high risk for a cancer of the esophagus-a dramatic and deadly disease.
  • Changes in the lining of your esophagus (Barrett's esophagus) may be detected early in a person with chronic heartburn by means of EGD. People with this condition should discuss how frequently to have screening with EGD's with their physicians.
Medical Author:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:
Medical Editor:

Must Read Articles Related to Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Acid Reflux (GERD)
Acid Reflux Disease (GERD) Acid reflux (GERD) is caused by acid backing up from the stomach. Causes of acid reflux include learn more >>
Anatomy of the Digestive System
Anatomy of the Digestive System Digestion is the process in which food is broken into smaller pieces so the body can use them to build and nourish cells and provide energy. The learn more >>
Celiac Disease
Celiac Sprue Celiac disease (sometimes referred to as as celiac disease), gluten-sensitive enteropathy, and gluten-induced enteropathy is a chronic disease of the digestive ...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Endoscopy:

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy - Results

What were the results of your gastrointestinal endoscopy?

Gastrointestinal Endoscopy - Preparation

Please describe your experience with gastrointestinal endoscopy preparation.

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Middle Ear Endoscopy »

Mer, in 1967, was the first to describe use of an endoscope to view the anatomy of the middle ear.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary