How Is Head and Neck Cancer Diagnosed?

Timely screening and detection can significantly reduce deaths from head and neck cancers, which at early stages have a cure rate as high as 90 percent. Diagnosis and treatment vary with the type and location of the cancer. However, most diagnostic work-ups will include the following steps:

Based on these findings, patients may also meet with other BMC experts in a variety of specialties, including head and neck surgical oncology; neurosurgery; ophthalmology; pathology; radiology; dentistry, oral surgery, and prosthetics; speech and swallow rehabilitation; audiology; gastrointestinal surgery and nutrition; medical and radiation oncology; vascular surgery; and microvascular, reconstructive, and plastic surgery.

The results of these consultations and procedures are reviewed in a weekly multidisciplinary Head and Neck Tumor Board meeting. Each patient receives a comprehensive, individualized care plan, designed to meet his or her specific needs. Following this review, the patient’s BMC physician will discuss the recommendations of the Head and Neck Tumor Board with the patient and his or her family, and together they will develop a treatment plan that meets the patient’s specific needs.