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Diagnosis of head and neck cancer

CT scan demonstrating the invasion of the orbit by cancer
CT scan demonstrating the invasion of the orbit by cancer

Tests that are run to define the diagnosis include an endoscopy, when a thin flexible camera is put into the upper part of the throat, via the nose. This allows the doctor to look directly at the inside of the head and neck.


Blood tests and scans of the head and neck are often done. The scans may be all or any of a CT scan, an MRI Scan or and Ultrasound of the neck. The scans help to check where the tumour is and if it has spread.


The diagnosis of head and neck cancer can only be confirmed if, a sample of the lump is removed and then examined under the microscope to look at the cells very closely.

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