Head and Neck Cancer Appointments

Reviewing documents during an appointment

What to Bring to Your Appointment
Where to Go for Your Appointment

When you come to Virginia Mason in Seattle for your first appointment we will perform a thorough health history evaluation. The first step in any medical evaluation involves gathering information about symptoms, risk factors, family history and past medical conditions. Your care team will also review all medical imaging (X-rays, CT scans, MRI and PET scans, etc.), your doctor’s referral notes and pathology. Additional imaging tests may be ordered.

Next, a physical examination will be performed. Special attention to the head and neck region is imperative. Since the regions of the larynx and hypopharynx are not readily visible, special fiberoptic scopes and mirrors are used to view these areas. Due to the high risk for additional cancers in the head and neck region, these scopes are also used to view the region behind the nose (the nasopharynx) and oral cavity. The neck, tongue, floor of mouth and rest of oral cavity are then examined and for any evidence of masses.

Lastly, we will present your case at our weekly Multidisciplinary Tumor Board. All of the different disciplines involved will give input. Consideration will be given to your tumor staging, your own desires, age, general health factors, support systems, location of residence, financial considerations and your potential tolerance to treatment options. This discussion is completely confidential. Your physician will relay the Tumor Board’s recommendations by phone or an office appointment.

What to Bring to Your Appointment

To help us make your visit more productive, we recommend you bring the following items:

  • Your appointment schedule and other materials sent to you.
  • Financial data, including insurance cards and copies of referrals and authorization.
  • All medical information, including test results, lab reports and chart information (medical history).
  • Diagnostic films, such as CT scans, MRI scans, x-rays, and PET scans must all be hand-carried to your first appointment. Please do not mail unless directed by your physician’s office. In this case, these should also be sent by overnight delivery to the attention of the doctor you are assigned to see.
  • A list of medications with the dosage and frequency. Include any medication and food allergies with the type of reaction.
  • A local contact number of where you will be staying in Seattle.
  • A written list of questions you may want to ask your doctor.

Where to Go for Your Appointment

  • New Appointments & Registration
  • Lindeman Pavilion Lobby, -OR 2nd Floor Buck Pavilion Lobby
  • Head and Neck Surgery Department, Otolaryngology
  • Lindeman Pavilion, 10th Floor
  • Hematology/Medical Oncology
  • Buck Pavilion, 2nd Floor
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Buck Pavilion, Lower Level
  • Laboratory
  • Buck Pavilion, 6th Floor
  • Radiology (X-ray, CT, MRI etc.)
  • Buck Pavilion, 5th Floor
  • MRI Suite
  • 1010 Seneca St.
  • Financial Counseling: Patient Service Specialists
  • Lindeman Pavilion, Lobby, 2nd Floor