How is hypopharyngeal cancer diagnosed?
Tests and procedures that are used to diagnose hypopharyngeal cancer include:
- Endoscopy : This procedure uses a thin, lighted tube that is inserted into the nose or mouth to check for anything unusual.
- Physical exam : Doctors check for swollen lymph nodes in the neck and look down the throat with a small mirror to check for anything unusual.
- CT scan (also called computed tomography or computerized tomography) : This scan takes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body. The images are created by a computer that is linked to an X-ray machine.
- MRI (also called magnetic resonance imaging) : This procedure uses radio waves and a powerful magnet, linked to a computer, to create detailed pictures of areas inside the body.
- PET scan (also called positron emission tomography) : This procedure is an imaging test that helps reveal how metabolically active your body tissues are. The test checks all areas of the body for hypermetabolic tissues, which usually mean they are involved with cancer or infection.
- Esophagoscopy : This procedure looks inside the esophagus to check for unusual areas. An esophagoscope (a thin, lighted tube) is inserted through the mouth and down the throat into the esophagus. Tissue samples might be taken for biopsy. This is usually done under general anesthesia or heavy sedation.
- Biopsy : In this procedure, tissue samples are removed and viewed under a microscope to determine if cancer is present.