To diagnose laryngeal cancer, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine your ears, nose, throat and mouth, and feel for swollen lymph nodes.
Your doctor may also order tests, such as:
- Barium swallow: A series of X-rays of the esophagus and stomach, also called an esophogram or upper GI series. It involves drinking liquid that contains barium (a silver-white metallic compound) that coats the esophagus and stomach to help them show up on X-rays.
- Biopsy: A small piece of tissue that’s removed and examined in a lab.
- Endoscopy: A thin, lighted tube is inserted through the mouth or nose so a doctor can see inside the body and look for abnormal tissue.
- Fine needle aspiration biopsy: A thin needle is placed into a lump in the neck. Cells are aspirated (drawn out) and examined under a microscope to see if they’re cancerous.
- Imaging tests: These include CT, MRI or PET scans, and chest or dental X-rays that can help confirm the presence of a tumor and whether it’s spread to other areas.