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What Patients Can Expect

Patients who have been referred by their doctor with a suspicion of cancer of the head and neck region will be scheduled to see one of our faculty physicians. During the office visit, the physician will talk with you in detail about the problem and will then examine your head and neck carefully.

In some instances, your doctor will need to examine an area in more detail. Once your doctor has performed the examination, he may wish to have you talk with other individuals who would be involved with your care. The first of these would be our oncology nurse, who works with all new patients suspected of having cancer in the head and neck region. This nurse will be closely involved in your care and will serve as a first-line contact person for you throughout treatment.

Two other physicians may also see you on the day of your first visit or shortly thereafter. These physicians are from the Hematology/Oncology Division and the Radiation Oncology Department. Please plan to spend two to three hours in our offices for your first visit. When you visit our clinic, please bring a copy of your medical records from your referring physician. If you have had a biopsy, we will also need the actual pathology slides and the pathology report. Final decisions regarding the best treatment for your cancer are usually made after all your doctors have had an opportunity to meet you and discuss your case jointly. Except in emergency situations, you should not expect to be admitted to the hospital on the day of your first visit. After your first visit, we occasionally need to schedule follow-up x-rays, laboratory studies, or biopsies. These studies will be discussed with you at the time of your visit.

Helpful Resources

This can be an anxious time. The following links are to programs which may be able to help:


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