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A 35-year-old female asked:

can a cat scan detect if a swollen neck lymph node is cancerous bc my ent dr said it can? i thought only a biopsy can. thanks.

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Addagada Rao
General Surgery 56 years experience
Yes it does: Ct of neck especially with contras is a very good tool to scan cervical lymph nodes. Speak to your doctor.
Dr. Joseph Accurso
Radiology 29 years experience
Biopsy is gold stand: Biopsy of the abnormal lymph node is the gold standard - looking at the tissue under the microscope will make the diagnosis. However, the appearance of a lymph node on ct can sometimes predict whether it is more likely benign or malignant. For example, if the center of the node looks like it is necrotic, that is more common with malignancy. Please see your doctor and keep working this up!

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Last updated Jun 21, 2020

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