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How is a head and neck cancer diagnosed?

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During your yearly checkup, the doctor should look inside your mouth, nose, and throat. She'll check for lumps in your neck, especially true if you use tobacco or have used it in the past, or you drink regularly. If you have symptoms you might get:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • HPV test
  • Endoscopy (the doctor looks at the inside of your head and neck with a tube that goes in through your nose and down your throat)
  • Tissue sample (biopsy) and lab tests on the tumor if there is one
  • X-rays
  • Scans

From: Head and Neck Cancer: What to Know WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Society of Clinical Oncology: “Head and Neck Cancer -- Overview,” “Understanding Targeted Therapy.”

National Cancer Institute: “Head and Neck Cancers.”

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: “Head and Neck Cancer.”

Reviewed by William Blahd on February 01, 2017

SOURCES:

American Society of Clinical Oncology: “Head and Neck Cancer -- Overview,” “Understanding Targeted Therapy.”

National Cancer Institute: “Head and Neck Cancers.”

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: “Head and Neck Cancer.”

Reviewed by William Blahd on February 01, 2017

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What tests are used to check for head and neck cancer?

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