Can a CT scan of head and neck completely rule out neck cancer?

Yes, near completely. Head and neck Cancer is easy to diagnose even without a CT scan because it can be seen with a naked eye and felt with the hands of the expert doctor. CT may reveal the actual size better, and also show some of the deeper cancers. With a negative CT scan we can be 98% certain that there is no significant cancer left undetected.

Related Questions

Chances of cancer after head CT scan? Lately my throat has been feeling sore. Hard to swallow

Low. Also, it would take a long time to see it (~20-30 years). Our data is only a rough estimate. Read more...
CA risk with scans. We do know that low doses of radiation are just a, s if not more dangerous that high doses for causing ca. That is why we use high doses to kill off ca. That being said most pts who are at increased risk are ones who have had multiple x-ray studies, not just one ct. This is why we always ask "do we need this test, will it change what we do?". Read more...

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

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. Read more...
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. Read more...
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. Read more...