NHS Scotland Head and Neck Cancer Optimal Diagnostic Pathway
Head and neck cancers are relatively uncommon although incidence rates have increased gradually in the last 10 years, with around 1,300 cases in Scotland diagnosed each year.
Head and neck cancers cover more than 30 areas within the head and neck including the mouth, lip, tongue, voice box (larynx), throat (pharynx), salivary glands, nose and sinuses and the area at the back of the nose and mouth (nasopharynx).
The Centre for Sustainable Delivery’s (CfSD) Cancer Performance and Earlier Diagnosis Team has worked closely with Regional Clinical Leads for Head and Neck Cancer, and engaged with Head and Neck Managed Clinical Networks to develop NHS Scotland’s first Head and Neck Cancer Optimal Diagnostic Pathway.
The pathway outlined gives head and neck cancer service providers in NHS Scotland a gold standard skeleton model to deliver an effective and efficient head and neck diagnostic pathway. It sets timeframes for each step to enable diagnosis by day 30 and treatment to start by day 62.
Further information and resources
NHS Scotland staff can access the Head and Neck Cancer Diagnostic Pathway Toolkit, to access examples of best practice to support implementation, by logging in to Turas Learn.