Nasopharyngeal cancer

Nasopharyngeal cancer is the term given to cancers which form in the nasopharynx. The nasopharynx is a small box like chamber which lies just behind the nose and is part of the pharynx (the throat).  

There a few different kinds of cancer which can form in this part of the head : a naropharngyeal carcinoma - which forms in the soft skin tissue which coats this part of the throat, Lymphomas which form in the lymph glands which are part of the immune system and adenoid cystic carcinoma which can develop in the minor salivary glands in the nasal cavity.    

Symptoms of Naropharyngeal Cancer

There are a few warning signs that you should look out for - as with all cancer the symptoms can be signs of many illnesses which are not as serious as cancer. You should go see your GP if any of the symptoms persist for longer than 3 weeks. The chances of you having cancer is low but it is far better to get checked over if you are worried.

  • a lump in your neck which does not go away. Your neck will often get lumps and bumps but if you have a lump which does not go away then call your GP and make an appointment

  • hearing loss - often only in one ear

  • hoarse voice

  • facial numbness in the lower part of the face

  • difficulty swallowing

  • persistent headaches

  • fluid in the ear

  • tinnitus ( a constant ringing in the ears)

  • bloody discharge from the nose

  • stuffed up nose - often on one side

As you can see the symptoms can be indicative of many illnesses not necessarily cancer but if you have these symptoms and they do not clear up in three weeks then make an appointment to see your GP. More than likely if will not be cancer but get checked out if you are worried - early detection generally improves outcomes for all forms of cancer.

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