Diagnosing GI Cancers with Precision Medicine

This information is useful for adults

Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer refers to tumors that arise from the tissues comprising the GI tract -- namely, the esophagus, stomach, intestines, colon, liver or pancreas. Marie Robert, MD, professor of Pathology at Yale Medicine, explains that while some diagnoses can be "made within milliseconds" of inspecting a biopsy sample under a microscope, a lot of the time pathologists will use immunohistochemical stains, molecular diagnosis and other advanced technological tools referred to as "precision medicine." And it's paramount to be as precise as possible when dealing with GI cancer. "Everything that happens [after diagnosis] is determined by what the surgical pathologist says about that tissue," says Dr. Robert.