This is the official guideline endorsed by the specialty associations involved in the care of head and neck cancer patients in the UK. It introduces the current best practice in histopathology and cytopathology as it pertains to head and neck and thyroid cancers.
• Accurate diagnosis of the type of malignancy is a key component of effective management. (R)
• Surgeons and oncologists should understand the scope and limitations of cellular pathology in order to inform multidisciplinary discussions. (R)
• A clinically suspected diagnosis of malignancy should be confirmed by biopsy or cytology before operation. (R)
• Cytopathological diagnoses should be discussed with surgeons and radiologists to maximise the information gained from each modality of investigation. (R)
• Pathological investigations are the basis for accurate cancer staging and stratification of clinical outcomes. (R)
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