Should symptoms lead your physician to suspect head or neck cancer, several medical tests might be performed to either confirm or rule out malignancies. Florida Hospital Cancer Institute employs a number of sophisticated methods to discover, track and diagnose.
Computed Tomography (CT Scan)
X-ray images from various angles can reveal hidden tumors or growths on tissues and organs.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI Scan)
The radio waves and powerful magnets produced by an MRI machine use differences in density to discover cancerous tissues.
High-frequency sound waves produce real-time images that reveal the physical structure your internal organs. When analyzed by a specialist, these images can point out possible areas of concern.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scan)
This method produces images that show levels of function rather than physical structure. It's like looking into an organ and being able to see how well it's working, regardless of its appearance.
Fine Needle Aspiration
Tissues of concern are physically sampled and removed with a thin needle that's inserted into the mass. Microscopic analysis reveals whether the cells are cancerous.
The tests described above make use of leading technologies to examine and diagnose. Other more specialized blood and chemical tests might be recommended to more precisely identify the nature and scope of a possible malignancy.
Staging determines just how far a cancer has progressed. This information is vital to developing an individualized treatment plan that effectively deals with the increasing complexities and effects of a cancer's growth. If the disease has spread, staging maps out where it has gone and provides a guide to treatment. Further examinations focus more closely on the cancer's evolution and might also involve anesthesia and/or brief hospital stays.
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