Reason for Concern
Cancer of the lining of the posterior nasal cavity and upper throat is known as nasopharyngeal cancer. This cancer usually appears in tandem with a virus affiliated with infectious mononucleosis. Because this cancer frequently spreads to the lymph nodes, it is often diagnosed from the presence of a lump or swelling in the neck. This fast-growing cancer often spreads from the posterior nasal cavity to the mouth or pharynx, which can cause symptoms such as snoring, recurrent nosebleeds, or subjective hearing loss. In more advanced cases, the cancer spreads to the lungs, liver and bones of the skull. In addition to surgical removal of the cancerous tissue, this cancer typically requires radiation and/or chemotherapy treatment.

Incidence and Diagnosis
This type of cancer occurs more commonly in Asian populations (Chinese males have the highest incidence) and in woodworkers. It frequently is undiagnosed until in the later stages which makes it more difficult to treat and decreases long term survival of those afflicted. Fortunately most ENT physicians now have high definition nasal rigid and flexible endoscopes for complete examination of the nasopharynx which otherwise is difficult to evaluate. If you or anyone you know experience any of the above mentioned signs or symptoms, please call for an appointment with Dr. Sciacca or another ENT physician.

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