How will a physician make a diagnosis of head and neck cancer?

Thoroughly. The issue or area of concern (e.G a visible neck lump, sore throat, or hoarse voice) will be directly examined by your physician (often by a laryngoscope). The next step is biopsies and scans (ct, mri, pet). The final diagnosis is made by reviewing the biospy specimen by pathologists and sometimes running special tests like the hpv test for viral linked cancer.
Biopsy. Typically a biopsy of a lesion if you see one on exam inside the mouth or throat, or a needle biopsy of a lymph node in the neck.
Here is how. Most any condition which is serous will lead to signs and symtos which will trigger an exam of the site in question and will lead to further testing such as mri, ct, etc. And in the case of cancer a tissue sample for biopsy and pathology examination is always required to make any diagnosis of cancer. Neck lymph node swelling which continues to enlarge and does not go away is common. Dr. J.

Related Questions

What are the chances of surviving a diagnosis of head and neck cancer?

Varied. There are many factors that help determine survivability in head and neck cancer. The type of cancer, its location in the head and neck, the size at time of diagnosis, presence or abscence of lymph nodes, smoking and alcohol status among others (presence of family/social support) are helpful determiners of survival. Read more...
Variable. Depends mostly on stage and then on cancer type, location, patient performance level, alcohol and smoking history.Early head/neck cancers are localised and have high cure rates; regional spread of cancers reduces the survival rates to 40-50%; cancer that has spread to other organs typically is incurable with survival less thatn a year on average. Read more...
Depends. Head and neck cancer, since it usually presents earlier than other cancers, is in general quite treatable either by surgery, chemotherapy or radiation or a combination. The smaller the lesion the better the cure rates. It is rare for these cancers to be asymptomatic. Hoarseness, throat pain, trouble swallowing, ear pain and throat pain together all are warning symptoms. Smokers and drinkers beware. Read more...
Several Factors. Several factors determine that. Location of tumor (larynx versus other sites), stage of the cancer, hpv status and ability to get adequate treatment in full. Bottom line is this cancer is very curable. Read more...

Head and neck cancer use mouthwash more than toothpaste?

Use both. It is extremely important to keep your mouth healthy during cancer treatment. You should brush 3 times a day floss 2 times a day and ask your dentist for a flouride gel or mouthwash with flouride in it. Act rinse or the generic equivalent is in drug stores over the counter. Read more...
BOTH! Stay away from alcohol-based mouthwashes. Alcohol is a drying agent, & will work with the radiation therapy to dry mouth out even more. Act Fluoride mouthwash is great. Also dry mouth rinses like biotene is amazing to help create saliva. Salivart spray is also otc that can be ordered from your pharmacist to help get rid of dry mouth. Caphasol has to be prescribed by your dentist; also great! Read more...
Both. If you are in treatment of head and neck cancer Fluoride is very important to ward off decay. Hopefully custom trays were made for you to hold Fluoride gel against your teeth. They should be used daily. Read more...