Optical probes to identify tumor margins in vivo would greatly reduce the time, effort and complexity in the surgical removal of malignant tissue in head and neck cancers. Current approaches involve visual microscopy of stained tissue samples to determine cancer margins, which results in the excision of excess of tissue to assure complete removal of the cancer. Such surgical procedures and follow-on chemotherapy can adversely affect the patient€™s recovery and subsequent quality of life. In order to reduce the complexity of the process and minimize adverse effects on the patient, we investigate ex vivo tissue samples (stained and unstained) using digital holographic microscopy in conjunction with spectroscopic analyses (reflectance and transmission spectroscopy) in order to determine label-free, optically identifiable characteristic features that may ultimately be used for in vivo processing of cancerous tissues. The tissue samples studied were squamous cell carcinomas and associated controls from patients of varying age, gender and race. Holographic microscopic imaging scans across both cancerous and non-cancerous tissue samples yielded amplitude and phase reconstructions that were correlated with spectral signatures. Though the holographic reconstructions and measured spectra indicate variations even among the same class of tissue, preliminary results indicate the existence of some discriminating features. Further analyses are presently underway to further this work and extract additional information from the imaging and spectral data that may prove useful for in vivo surgical identification.