The physicians at Potomac Ear, Nose and Throat are expertly trained in evaluating and diagnosing tumors in the head and neck region.
Tumors of the head and neck can be related to infections or be benign and malignant tumors. They may require a biopsy for diagnosis. If the mass is superficial, a fine needle biopsy can be done in the office. For deeper tumors, an ultrasound guided needle biopsy may be needed. If the tumor is in the throat, biopsies usually are done under anesthesia in the operating room.
- In general biopsy results take about a week to return unless special stains and tests are required to better characterize the tumor.
Additional imaging such as an ultrasound, MRI or CT scan may be required to better assess the location and involvement and/or spread to other areas such as lymph nodes. The images can also give clues whether the tumor is benign or malignant.
After the biopsy report is completed and all the required imaging studies have been reviewed, your physician will make recommendations on how the tumor will be treated.
- Benign tumors of the head and neck and neck are often treated with surgery alone or even observation.
- Malignant tumors (cancers) of the head and neck region are treated with surgery and/or radiation for early stage cancers. For late stage cancers, combinations of surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy are often recommended depending on the type and location of the cancer.
Just like with lung cancer, smoking and chewing tobacco are strong risk factors for cancers of the head and neck. The physicians at Potomac Ear, Nose and Throat urge all patients to try and quite smoking and chewing tobacco products! Please ask your primary care physician on strategies to quit smoking.
If you are concerned about a head and neck mass, please make an appointment with the physicians at Potomac Ear, Nose and Throat at 703-499-8787. Early diagnosis and treatment are paramount for good outcomes.