NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms
The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,916 terms related to cancer and medicine.
Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.
- barium swallow
- listen (BAYR-ee-um SWAH-loh)
The process of getting x-ray pictures of the esophagus or the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract (esophagus, stomach, and duodenum). The x-ray pictures are taken after the patient drinks a liquid that contains barium sulfate (a form of the silver-white metallic element barium). The barium sulfate coats and outlines the inner walls of the esophagus and the upper GI tract so that they can be seen on the x-ray pictures.