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A complete head and neck physical exam may reveal the origin of neck cancer, but not always. When it does not, a fine needle aspirate biopsy (FNA) is usually sufficient to establish the nature of the neck mass. Imaging studies that usually include a PET-CT and an MRI would be done to try to locate the origin. If still not helpful, selected biopsies of sites where small subtle tumors might arise would be done. If for example the FNA shows an HPV (+) tumor (see oropharynx cancer) biopsies of the tonsil and the base of tongue, possibly with TORS, would be done as well as inspecting via fiberoptic scopes the esophagus, trachea, and lungs.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.