Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Imaging tests for head and neck cancer

Imaging tests for head and neck cancer

Other imaging tests used to diagnose head and neck cancer include:

Computed tomography (CT) scan: A CT scan may provide information about the size, shape and position of the tumor, and may help identify enlarged lymph nodes to determine whether they contain cancer cells.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI may be used to examine the head and neck cancer area for signs of cancer.

Positron emission tomography (PET) scan: For patients who have been diagnosed with head and neck cancer, a PET scan may be used to determine whether cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, to identify the original site of cancer when it is discovered in the lymph nodes, or to check the entire body for the spread of cancer.

What are imaging tests?

If a head and neck cancer diagnosis is made, various imaging tests may help determine the extent of the disease. If questions remain after a biopsy, an imaging test may also be used to help determine whether cancer is present.