As a part of the truly multidisciplinary care of patients at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, the gastroenterologists work closely with the medical oncologists and the surgeons. Most patients who come to M. D. Anderson have cancer that is proven or suspected on the basis of clinical presentation or tests performed at referring institutions. The endoscopists at M. D. Anderson participate in confirmation of the cancer diagnosis, staging, palliation, and endoscopic follow-up, if required. Patients who have undergone endoscopies at other hospitals are strongly encouraged to bring with them the pathology slides and diagnostic specimens so that these can be reviewed by the pathologists at M. D. Anderson. When the pathologists at M. D. Anderson are not satisfied that a confident diagnosis of cancer can be made on the basis of the specimens provided, endoscopic examination is repeated to provide adequate specimens.

The endoscopy unit at M. D. Anderson provides a complete array of endoscopic services, ranging from basic endoscopic procedures, including esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), colonoscopy, and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG), to advanced endoscopic procedures, including endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS), EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA), endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), and endoscopic stenting for palliation of malignant obstruction of the esophagus, small bowel, or colon.

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