Nasopharyngeal cancer, the symptoms of which are fundamentally different from other types of cancer, are most often diagnosed in men after 45 years. But every person can get into the risk zone. Symptoms of larynx cancer, oropharynx, nasopharynx, nose are similar. The discomfort that causes this disease makes the patient consult a doctor who prescribes a full examination. Treatment will depend on the severity and neglect of cancer.

Nasopharyngeal cancer: symptoms, causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment features

Features of the disease

The tumor formed in the nasopharynx can be of two types:

To benign carry:

Benign education is rare, most often it is diagnosed in children (it can be congenital). But a malignant tumor of the nasopharynx is a problem of people aged, in most cases - men.

The main causes of the disease:

  1. Smoking. This group of people includes those who are just near the person who smokes (passive smoking). Cells of the nasal mucosa irritate from the smoke, if you just inhale it, but do not smoke yourself. But smoking people have a much higher chance of developing cancer.
  2. Frequent use of products treated with pesticides, various seasonings. Carcinogens are very harmful.
  3. Dentures. The very fact of wearing dentures does not mean that it is a guarantee of nasopharyngeal cancer. If a person is picked up properly, the prosthesis does not suit him well, that is, the risk of developing a tumor. When such a person smokes, the material from which his prosthesis is made absorbs tobacco smoke. This becomes an additional risk factor.
  4. Abuse of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can irritate the pharyngeal mucosa, which leads to the development of the disease. How often does this cause nasopharyngeal cancer? Symptoms of the disease in 75% of cases of the total number of patients occur in those who love alcohol.
  5. Papillomavirus. If there is this virus in the human body, the risk of getting a nasopharyngeal cancer is high.
  6. Leukoplakia. This is a disease that is considered a precancerous condition. It manifests itself as white spots on the mucous membrane of the nasopharynx.

Risk factors

There is a group of people who have a much higher chance of developing cancer:

  • 40-50 year old men;
  • contacting the Epstein-Barr virus;
  • patients with HIV and mononucleosis;
  • received ionizing radiation;
  • with an autoimmune condition.

How does nasopharyngeal cancer manifest itself? Symptoms of this tumor appear already in the early stages. The reason is that the nasopharynx is considerably limited by the bones, and this leads to a squeezing of the tumor, which is just beginning to develop.

Symptoms of cancer of the nose and nasopharynx are similar:

  • permanent nasal congestion (reminiscent of an allergic rhinitis or common cold cold, but no other signs anymore);
  • from the nose there are purulent discharge, sometimes with impurities of blood.

Nasopharyngeal and pharyngeal cancer are symptoms that can indicate both one and the other disease:

  • painful sensations during eating, and even when swallowing saliva;
  • paroxysmal cough;
  • hoarseness of voice;
  • constant discomfort in the mouth;
  • change voice timbre.
  • hearing impairment;
  • problems with speech;
  • periodic bifurcation in the eyes;
  • headache.

In later stages, the body weight begins to decrease, and the cervical lymph nodes increase.

All of the above signs can talk about any other disease. Therefore, an accurate diagnosis can only be made by a qualified physician after a complete examination.

A person can suspect himself of nasopharyngeal cancer. Symptoms are combined in some strange way: nasal discharge occurs simultaneously with hoarseness, speech impairment.


The examination begins when the patient has treated with characteristic signs. One of the main symptoms is an increase in the cervical lymph nodes. Sometimes this symptom is unique in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

The doctor first of all pays attention to:

  • signs that the patient is talking about;
  • numbness of the skin;
  • condition of lymph nodes.

Due to the deep location of the nasopharynx, it can not be visually inspected without auxiliary instruments. There are cases when the tumor is located under the mucous membrane, which requires a biopsy.

Diagnostic methods that must be used to establish an accurate diagnosis:

  1. X-rays of light. This examination is necessary in order to exclude metastases in the lungs.
  2. CT and MRI. The doctor can examine the tumor in detail.
  3. Biopsy. With the help of a puncture, tissues are taken for examination.
  4. Blood test. Helps determine if there are any accompanying pathologies in the body.

The cancer of the nasopharynx is very crooked. Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment depend on the stage of the disease. The doctor, before starting therapy, determines this stage. We take into account the size of education and its prevalence in the body.

Therapy is selected individually, depending on the stage of the disease. The age of the patient, his general state of health is taken into account. Basic methods:

Radiation therapy

This method of treatment is considered the main one. In the initial stages, only radiation therapy is used, and at later stages it is combined with other methods of treatment, in the frequency with chemotherapy. The principle of action is irradiation of the tumor and nearby tissues.

Radiation therapy affects cancer cells and slows their growth. When the irradiation was carried out, further further procedures for prevention are shown to the patient. After all, sometimes in the lymph nodes remain particles of metastases. They can not be considered because they are too small.

The disadvantage of this method of treatment is that it affects not only the bad cells, but also the general state of human health. Radiation therapy is used before and after surgery.


With this method of treatment, tumor cells are suppressed and destroyed. The doctor prescribes cytotoxic drugs that perform their work from the inside.

Chemotherapy is combined with other treatments. But, as a rule, it is prescribed before the radiation therapy and after the operation. The goal is to completely destroy the tumor cells in all tissues.

Surgical intervention is aimed at removal:

  • remnants of a tumor;
  • enlarged lymph nodes.

If the tumor does not spread to other organs, surgery should not cause any difficulties during work. If the metastases were found in other organs, the surgeon will excise a part of the injured organ.


As statistics show, nasopharyngeal cancer, the symptoms whose treatment depends on the stage, in most cases kills a person. If the diseases were diagnosed at an early stage, then the chance to survive is 70% in those cases when the age of the patient is not more than 45 years. In the elderly, 60-70 years are less likely to survive with such a diagnosis - 35%. A tumor in the nasopharynx is more often formed than in the oropharynx.

One can not lose sight of the fact that in recent years, this diagnosis is being made less and less. Many people refuse to smoke, which is one of the frequent causes of cancer.


A healthy lifestyle is the main measure of preventing nasopharyngeal cancer. A person should quit smoking, stop using alcohol. If you have to work in a factory where different harmful substances are used, then a respirator must be worn to prevent chemical agents from entering the respiratory tract.

Everyone should undergo regular checkups. If you adhere to this rule, you can identify the disease at the initial stage, which is treatable.

Nasopharyngeal cancer is very dangerous. Symptoms, treatment and prevention are the information that every person should know in order to prevent the development of an ailment, and if the first signs appear, call the doctor in time. If the cancer is at the initial stage, then with a full examination and full treatment in a qualified medical center, there is a good chance to get rid of the tumor forever.