Throat Cancers are frequently initially found by ENT doctors because sometimes the symptoms can be vague and the anatomy difficult to examine without the appropriate specialized equipment that we have in our office. Pain, bleeding, obstruction, voice changes or painless neck masses that do not resolve after a few weeks should be promptly evaluated by an ENT provider. Smoking, alcohol, and exposure to certain subsets of the HPV virus are common risk factors for head and neck cancers
If a cancer is suspected or an abnormal growth is seen, often a biopsy in the operating room with you asleep will be recommended to confirm the type and location of the cancer or evaluate other causes of an abnormal growth. If a cancer is found, you will often have a specialized scan called a PET scan that assesses if the cancer has spread anywhere else in your body. The PET scan allows the doctor to stage your cancer and refer you for appropriate treatment which may be surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy or a combination of these. A ENT doctor will then see you frequently for several years after your cancer is treated to check for recurrence. They can also assist with any swallowing or breathing problems that may arise due to the cancer or treatment.