Easy Read Information
This page you tells you about the team that specialise in treating head and neck cancers.
Who we are
We have a large, experienced team of head and neck cancer experts at the hospital. We use the latest techniques to quickly identify:
- Cancers of the mouth or tongue (oral cancers)
- Cancers of the throat (larynx, pharynx and upper oesophagus)
- Cancers of the salivary glands
- Cancers of the nose, sinuses, and ears
- Cancers of the nerves and blood vessels of the head and neck.
What we do
There’s over 90% chance of being cured if head and neck cancer is caught early. This means quick diagnosis is essential. In our rapid diagnostic clinic, experts perform tests for cancer in one patient visit. The results from biopsies are usually available on the same day – meaning most patients benefit from a final diagnosis before leaving.
It’s essential that cancer is diagnosed as early as possible. In our rapid diagnostic clinic, we perform every test for cancerous lumps in one visit. This means most patients get a final diagnosis before leaving. Most other cancers will be investigated within two weeks.
Being referred to us
You will be referred to the hospital if your GP spots something that needs further investigation. We will see you for a clinic appointment within two weeks. You’ll be asked about your medical history and your current symptoms.
What happens when you see us
At your appointment, a full examination will be performed to check for cancer. This may include:
Endoscopic assessment of the throat: the doctor uses a thin, flexible tube with a lens on the end to look inside the throat. The tip of the endoscope is inserted through your mouth and then gently moved down your throat.
Ultrasound of the neck: this uses sound waves to make a picture of inside the neck. It helps the specialist identify any problem lumps.
Fine needle biopsy: this is a quick procedure. The doctor takes a sample of cells from the problem lump with a fine needle and syringe. The cells are examined in the clinic by a tissue expert (pathologist) to see if any cancer is present. The doctor can often tell what type of cancer it is by this method.
What happens next
Occasionally further tests are needed, such as: CT or MRI scans, biopsy and assessment under general anaesthetic. These will be performed within two weeks.
You’ll be referred to the Merseyside Regional Head and Neck Centre in Aintree if cancer is discovered. We work very closely with this hospital to make the patient transition as smooth as possible.
Regional specialists from different clinical areas will discuss your test results and create an individual treatment plan.
The clinic has been established for over seven years. Each year we see between 1000-1500 patients and diagnose 30-40 cancers. We’ve recently added more staff to deal with extra patients.
Benefit from the latest techniques
We were one of the first hospitals to use ultrasound-guided fine needle biopsy to analyse neck lumps. This is safer and less traumatic for the patient than traditional biopsy procedures.
Specialised head and neck experts
Our specialists have been specifically trained to identify head and neck cancers quickly. The clinic is staffed by two experienced ear, nose and throat (ENT) consultants, one tissue expert (pathologist) and one radiologist.