Head and Neck Cancer Screenings and Diagnosis

We test for and diagnose many different forms of head and neck cancer.

One of the most important aspects of successfully treating head and neck cancer is getting an accurate diagnosis.

Our specialists have the expertise and advanced technology to provide the most accurate diagnosis possible. And we’ll work with you to create a personalized treatment plan for your particular type of head and neck cancer.

What are the early warning signs of head and neck cancers?

Cancers of the head and neck can cause many different symptoms. These symptoms can vary depending on where the cancer is located. They often resemble cold or flu symptoms. You should see a doctor if these symptoms don’t go away within two weeks.

Common warning signs of head and neck cancers include:

  • A sense of a blockage in your nose or sinuses
  • Changes in skin coloring or moles, or lumps on the face, neck, or throat
  • Crusts, lumps, sores, swelling, or thick spots in the mouth or on the skin of the head or neck
  • Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw, such as to chew, speak, or swallow
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Ear pain, ringing in the ears, or trouble hearing
  • Hoarseness or change in your voice that lasts for a long time
  • Loosened teeth, a change in the way your teeth fit together, or a change in the fit of your dentures
  • Pain, numbness, or tenderness in the ears, face, mouth, or neck
  • Persistent sore throat, or the feeling that something is caught in the back of your throat
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • White or red patches in the mouth

Is my family at risk for head and neck cancers?

Head and neck cancers can be passed down through families in some cases. If we suspect this may be the case for your family, we’ll talk with you about genetic screening by our advanced genetics laboratory.

If the results of your genetic screening indicate a cause for concern, we’ll work with you and your family members to arrange additional tests or care as needed.

Tests for specific types of head and neck cancers

We offer a full array of screening and diagnostic procedures for different kinds of head and neck cancers, including skin cancer. These include:

Connect with our Cancer Team 24/7

Call us at (888) 777-4167

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If this is an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.

For your safety, please select a MyChart video visit on demand or call our MyCare Advice Line at 844-262-1949 before scheduling if:

  • You currently have a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • In the past 21 days, you have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • In the past 14 days, you have had contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • You are experiencing a new loss of taste and/or sense of smell
  • If you have experienced two or more of the following symptoms in the last 3 days:
    • fever
    • chills
    • drenching sweats
    • new cough
    • shortness of breath
    • body aches
    • headache
    • sore throat
    • runny nose or nasal congestion
    • nausea/vomiting/diarrhea

Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email CommunicationAccess@hfhs.org.

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