Diagnosing Head and Neck Cancer

To look for cancer, your doctor will examine all the areas of your head and neck.

Your doctor will first feel for lumps on the neck, mouth and throat. He or she may also use a flexible endoscope, a thin, lighted tube that is passed through the nose, to obtain a more comprehensive assessment of the head and neck area.

X-ray, CT, MR and PET scans are often needed to show the location and extent of the cancer.

To confirm if you have cancer, some tissue will be removed and analyzed. This test is called a biopsy.


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