Nasopharyngeal Cancer

This is cancer of the upper part of the pharynx, which connects with the nasal cavity above the soft palate.

Symptoms

Symptoms of nasopharyngeal cancer include:

  • A lump in the nose or neck
  • A sore throat
  • Trouble breathing or speaking
  • Nosebleeds
  • Trouble hearing
  • Pain or ringing in the ear
  • Headaches

Diagnosis

In addition to all major cancer screening and diagnosis methods, we also offer these techniques when testing for nasopharyngeal cancer:

  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scan) – A procedure to find malignant tumor cells in the body
  • Neurological Tests – A doctor tests your nerve function especially for those nerves providing sensation and motor function to the face, head, and neck.
  • Blood Chemistry Study – A procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) – A procedure in which a sample of blood is drawn and checked for the following:
    • The number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
    • The amount of hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen) in the red blood cells.
    • The portion of the blood sample made up of red blood cells.
  • Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) Test – A blood test to check for antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus and DNA markers of the Epstein-Barr virus
  • Hearing Test – A procedure to check whether soft and loud sounds and low- and high-pitched sounds can be heard; each ear is checked separately.

Treatment

Raiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, are treatment options for nasopharyngeal cancer. Your care team will work with you to determine the exact course of treatment. Learn more about treatment options.