Nasopharyngeal Cancer Symptoms And Causes
What is Nasopharynx Cancer?
Nasopharynx is a space located between the back of the nose and esophagus. Nasopharyngeal cancer is the most common (60%) malignant tumor of head and neck region. Nasopharyngeal cancer has a higher prevalence in Mongoloid countries, particularly South China; and also Greece, North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia), and the Eskimos. This cancer is more prevalent in men than women.
Nasopharyngeal Cancer Causes
The cause of nasopharyngeal cancer is still uncertainty and multifactorial, such as: Epstein Barr virus, genetics, environment, diet, and cigarette smoking. Epstein Barr virus is not specific for nasopharyngeal cancer but also cause other diseases.
Nasopharyngeal Cancer Symptoms
Nasopharyngeal cancer symptoms can be divided into 4 main groups:
1. Own nasopharyngeal symptoms: in early cancer; mild nose-bleed, nasal obstruction.
2. Ear symptoms: when tumor is located near the mouth of Eustachii tube (canal connecting nose and ear); ear ringing/buzzing, discomfort feel, until ear pain.
3. Eye and nerve symptoms: advanced symptoms because there is a close contact between tumor and skull cavity; headache, neck pain, facial pain (trigeminal neuralgia), blurred vision, and diplopia (doubble vision).
4. Symptoms of metastases (tumor spreading): form of swelling in the neck due to lymph nodes inflammation.
Treatments of Nasopharyngeal Cancer
Radiation therapy can rapidly destroy growing cancer cells. This therapy is carried out for 6 weeks. It is for early stage cancer only. Side effects of radiation therapy are dry mouth, hearing loss, etc.
Chemotherapy works by reducing the amount of cancer cells, and sometimes healthy cells are also killed. Side effects of chemotherapy are hair loss, nausea, weakness, malaise, vomitus.
The goal of this therapy is to eradicate lymph nodes that have been infiltrated by cancer.