HEAD AND NECK CANCER GUIDE
Head and Neck Cancer Diagnosis
Diagnosis of head and neck cancers includes:
- physical examination;
- imaging tests and endoscopy.
Routine physical examination (including a thorough oral examination) is the best way to detect head and neck cancers early before it becomes symptomatic. Any symptoms of head and neck cancer (for example, sore throat, hoarseness) lasting between 2 and 3 weeks should be sent to a physician for a physical examination.
Final diagnosis usually requires a biopsy. Fine needle aspiration is used for a neck mass. Oral lesions are evaluated with an incision biopsy or a brush biopsy. Nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal or laryngeal disorders are endoscopically biopsied. ACT or MRI will be done to help determine tumor grade and staging.