Accurate staging and timely assessment in head and neck cancer patients is critical for initiating appropriate treatment strategy. Therefore, pre-treatment imaging in diagnosis is of great importance. Computerized tomography, introduced in the early 70s, followed by magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission tomography, refinements in ultrasonography, and advances in nuclear medicine and applications such as sentinel node lympho-scintigraphy have greatly added to diagnostic accuracy. Post-treatment CT or MRI is of value when a recurrent tumor is suspected, to confirm the presence of such a lesion and to determine its extent; this is important information for determining the possibility of salvage therapy.
Key words: Positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, sentinel lymph node scintigraphy, multi-detector row CT.
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