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Barium swallow for head and neck cancer

Barium swallow for head and neck cancer

A barium swallow test can show any irregularities in the larynx, pharynx, mouth and surrounding areas, and can often detect small, early head and neck tumors.

What is a barium swallow?

Also known as an "upper GI series," a barium swallow involves drinking a chalky drink made of a barium-based solution, which allows cancer cells in the esophagus and upper part of the digestive system to be seen with an x-ray. This imaging technique can also show if cancer is interfering with swallowing.