Head & Neck Cancer

Head and neck cancer is a general description that is used for a number of different types of malignant tumors that occur in the mouth, throat, sinuses, nasal spaces, the larynx, salivary glands, and the cervical lymph nodes. Tumors of the brain or thyroid are usually not considered to be a part of this general category of tumors. Head and neck cancers may spread to lymph nodes in the neck, and to other parts of the body.

The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 55,000 cases of head and neck cancer diagnosed in the United States each year. Although this represents only about 5% of all cancers diagnosed, it is particularly devastating because of the functional problems that may result from treatment. Estimates indicate that there are more than 500,000 survivors of oral and head and neck cancers living in the United States today.


PET/CT imaging can help physicians locate some primary lesions not identified by other methods and can help determine the extent of disease.


A PET/CT scan can help physicians determine whether surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy is the best treatment option.


PET/CT imaging can be used to help physicians detect residual or recurrent disease in postoperative or postradiation patients

PET/CT Utilization and Case Studies

PET/CT is a noninvasive test that physicians utilize to stage the entire body for the presence or absence of active tumor, localize the tumor, assess the tumor response to treatment and detect recurrence in treated lesions.

Source: American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2011. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2011