Head and neck cancer diagnostic evaluations
A thorough and accurate cancer diagnosis is the first step in developing a head and neck cancer treatment plan. Your integrated team of head and neck cancer experts will use advanced diagnostic tests and tools to evaluate the disease, and plan your individualized treatment. Throughout your treatment, we'll use imaging and laboratory tests to track the size of the tumors, monitor your response to treatment, and modify your plan when needed.
Physical exam and health history
Within the first two days of your arrival at our hospital, we will perform a complete array of diagnostic tests, and thoroughly review your medical records and health history. Your doctor will also likely conduct a physical exam. During a physical exam, your doctor may find signs of a head and neck cancer, or a precancerous condition. These signs may include bumps or other abnormalities on your head, face or neck, or problems with the nerves of the face and/or mouth. Your doctor will also check inside your mouth for any signs of oral cancer. This information helps us formulate treatment recommendations best suited to you.
If your doctor is concerned that you may have cancer, he or she will refer you to a specialist for additional tests. This specialist will likely be either an oral and maxillofacial surgeon or a head and neck surgeon, typically referred to as an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor or an otolaryngologist. The specialist will carefully examine the entire area of your head and neck, including the lymph nodes of the neck, to check for any signs of cancer.
Reduced wait times for appointments and test results
We understand that waiting for test results can create a great deal of stress. To ease anxiety and help you begin your head and cancer treatment sooner, we provide reduced wait times for appointments and test results. Our turnaround time goal—from the time of the scan to providing results so treatment planning can occur—is four hours.
We also want you to be as comfortable as possible during your imaging tests. Our team uses padding and comfort equipment, as well as a variety of positioning devices, to help you feel more relaxed during scans and procedures.
Learn about head and neck cancer advanced treatments