Throat Cancer Diagnosis

How will your doctor diagnose you with this condition? Learn about the tests, exams, processes, and other information relating to the diagnosis of Throat Cancer below.


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How to Diagnose Throat Cancer

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. The doctor may feel for any lumps in the neck. You may be referred to an otolaryngologist, a doctor who specializes in head and neck surgery.


  • Laryngoscopy -a thin, lighted tube inserted through the mouth to examine the inside of the throat
  • Panendoscopy-extensive exam of the oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, and trachea using a fiberoptic scope
  • Fine needle aspiration -use of a thin needle to remove a sample of throat tissue to test for cancer cells
  • MRI scan -a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of the inside of the throat
  • PET scan -a special scan using radioactive glucose that circulates throughout the body; x-ray is then taken and the radiation shows up, showing cancer cells
  • CT scan -a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of the inside of the throat
  • Incisional biopsy -surgical removal of a sample of throat tissue to test for cancer cells

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO