Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is difficult to detect early. That's probably because the nasopharnyx isn't easy to examine and symptoms of nasopharyngeal carcinoma mimic those of other more common conditions.
Three subtypes of NPC are recognized in the World Health Organisation (WHO) classification :
• type 1: squamous cell carcinoma, typically found in the older adult population
• type 2: non-keratinizing carcinoma
• type 3: undifferentiated carcinoma
Possible noticeable symptoms of nasopharyngeal carcinoma include:
- A lump in your neck caused by a swollen lymph node
- Blood in your saliva
- Bloody discharge from your nose
- Nasal congestion
- Hearing loss
- Frequent ear infections
Staging of Nasophayngeal Carcinoma
Staging of Nasophayngeal Carcinoma is based on clinical and radiologic examination. Most patients present with Stage III or IV disease.
Stage I is a small tumor confined to nasopharynx.
Stage II is a tumor extending in the local area, or that with any evidence of limited neck (nodal) disease.
Stage III is a large tumor with or without neck disease, or a tumor with bilateral neck disease.
Stage IV is a large tumor involving intracranial or infratemporal regions, an extensive neck disease, and/or any distant metastasis.
No sure way exists to prevent nasopharyngeal carcinoma. However, if you're concerned about your risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma, you may consider avoiding habits that have been associated with the disease. For instance, you may choose to cut back on the amount of salt-cured foods you eat or avoid these foods altogether.
Treatment for nasopharyngeal carcinoma usually involves radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination of the two. You can work with your doctor to determine the exact approach depending on your particular situation.