HEAD AND NECK CANCER
HOW IS SUSPECTED HEAD & NECK CANCER INVESTIGATED?
The presence of key 'red flag' symptoms such as a persistent sore throat, hoarseness, swallowing difficulty or neck lump may indicate a serious underlying problem. Investigation of these symptoms involves a thorough assessment in clinic including a flexible endoscopy to examine all areas of the nose and throat. Depending on the results of the examination in clinic, further tests may be required. Ultrasound, CT and MRI scans are used alone or in combination to identify the cause of people's symptoms. In some cases a biopsy may also be required. These tests are arranged urgently to reduce delays to diagnosis and treatment.
HOW IS HEAD & NECK CANCER TREATED?
The treatment of head and neck cancer depends upon the site and stage of the tumour. All cases are discussed at the regional head & neck multidisciplinary meeting (MDT) where scans and biopsy results are reviewed with specialists from oncology, pathology and radiology before a management plan is developed. Most people with head and neck cancer undergo treatment with surgery, radiotherapy or a combination of both treatments. After the completion of treatment, patients are followed up regularly in clinic to ensure that they remain cancer-free.