Although radiologists and oncologists are the specialists most people think of when they hear the word "tumor," otolaryngologists can be instrumental in detecting, diagnosing and treating benign and cancerous masses of the head and neck (including the larynx, nasopharynx, paranasal sinuses, salivary glands, thyroid and parathyroid glands, ears, skin and bone, and mouth). Cancers of the ear, nose and throat can be fatal. Thorough and regular examinations help patients and physicians find abnormalities early, when treatment is usually most effective.
If a mass is found, tests will be run to determine whether the tumor is benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). This may involve blood or urine sampling, fine needle aspiration, biopsy, laryngoscopy, bronchoscopy, nasopharyngoscopy, electrocardiogram or other tests. Treatment depends on the tumor site, size and type as well as involvement of other structures and the patient's overall health and preferences.