DIAGNOSTIC TESTS to detect head and neck cancer
To determine the cause of a problem affecting the area of the head and neck, your doctor will review your medical history, perform a physical examination and orders diagnostic tests. These may vary depending on the symptoms. It is always necessary to examine a tissue sample under the microscope to confirm a diagnosis of cancer.
If cancer is diagnosed, the doctor will determine the stage (extent) of the disease. Staging is a careful attempt to find out whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to which parts of the body. Staging sometimes requires examination of the patient under anesthetic (in an operating room), x-rays or other procedures including scans and laboratory analysis.
Once the disease stage has been established, doctor can begin to plan the treatment.