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Imaging tests for head and neck cancer

What are imaging tests?

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

Imaging tests for head and neck cancer

Computed tomography (CT) scan: A CT scan can provide information about the size, shape and position of any tumors, and may also help identify enlarged lymph nodes that may contain cancer cells.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI scan may be used to examine head and neck cancer.

Positron emission tomography (PET) scan: For patients who have received a head and neck cancer diagnosis, a PET scan may be useful for seeing if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, for determining the originating site of cancer when it is found in the lymph nodes first or for checking the entire body for any spreading of cancer cells.

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