After this testing, it typically takes a few days to 2 weeks to review the results and confirm your diagnosis. Getting your test results can take time because your care team is working hard to determine an accurate diagnosis for you.
Many health care professionals collaborate in the process and provide expert analysis, including your oncologist (cancer doctor), radiologist, and pathologist. Years of experience studying oropharyngeal cancer every day means your pathologist can accurately identify critical details, such as whether the cancer:
i. Is related to human papillomavirus (HPV) or not
ii. Has invaded the soft tissues surrounding the tumor or lymph nodes
Your care team will also determine the stage of oropharyngeal cancer. Staging describes the size of the cancer and whether (and how far) it has spread. Staging is the most important step in planning your treatment.
Learn about oropharyngeal cancer stages »