If left untreated, malignant neoplasms of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts usually have wide-reaching consequences. Treatment of very large tumors that have been detected too late leads to a considerably limited quality of life for patients.
Hence, the objective is early detection of primary tumors and tumor recurrences through suitable preventative exams. Today use of endoscopic systems combined with digital recording and archiving is standard for diagnostic imaging of the aerodigestive tract. With these systems, the morphology and texture of the affected tissue can be analyzed directly.
However, many endoscopic exams are currently still associated with diagnostic uncertainty, since often only inadequate differentiation between various mucous membrane types and lesions is possible. A definitive diagnosis always requires the pathological and histological analysis of tissue samples.