Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Should Not Be Overlooked
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma may not seem real and will not show any symptoms in the early stages. The next thing you know, it may have spread to block your airway passage. Self-awareness and self-observation are important so that it can be treated as soon as possible to increase the chance of a cure and return to quality living.
What Is Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma?
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is a type of head and neck cancer that is usually hidden within the nasal passages. It is difficult to discover during routine physical examination, the main reason why patients are diagnosed when it has already spread and manifests as a neck mass, double vision, ringing in the ears, etc.
Risk Factors for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
- Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) infection. Studies have shown that patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma tend to have higher antibodies against EBV than most people in the population.
- Heredity, such as Chinese descendants and Southeast Asians, etc.
- Pickled or cured food, such as salty fish, pickled fish, food with nitrosamine.
- Environment, such as smoke, dust, chemicals and cigarette smokes.
Symptoms of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
- Nasal symptoms, such as bloody mucous or excessive mucous, chronic congestion
- Ear symptoms, such as tinnitus, ringing in the ear, ear discharge
- Neck lump can occur if the cancer has spread to the lymph node
- Neurological symptoms, such as headache, facial numbness, blurred or double vision, difficulty swallowing, etc.
How Is Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Diagnosed?
A medical specialist will take your medical history and perform physical examination around the head and neck area. An endoscope is inserted into he nasal passage to look for anything unusual. Should something out of the ordinary be discovered, a biopsy is taken for pathological diagnosis.
How To Screen for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma?
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma responds well to treatment and has a good chance of a cure if it has been discovered and treated in the early stages. Patients who are at risk should receive screening tests such as
- Nasal endoscopy
- Blood test to detect antibodies against EBV (IgA antibodies) and EBV DNA Load Test. Most patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma tend to have higher amount of antibody titration and EBV DNA than most people in the population.
- Nasopharyngeal Swab for PCR EBV
Currently, there is no test that has the best sensitivity and specificity for nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Therefore, a combination of tests should be used to rule out the condition in risk groups.
Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Specialist
Dr. Chanat Kanchit, Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Cancer, Bangkok Cancer Hospital Wattanosoth. Click to make your appointment now.
Bangkok Cancer Hospital Wattanosoth, Ear Nose Throat Center
Bangkok Cancer Hospital Wattanosoth is ready to treat patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma with a team of medical specialists experienced in effective treatment. The hospital is equipped with cutting-edge technology available to support patients at every stage so that you can return to your good quality of life.