Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (patient information)

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Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Overview

What are the symptoms?

What are the causes?

Who is at highest risk?

When to seek urgent medical care?

Diagnosis

Treatment options

Where to find medical care for Nasopharyngeal carcinoma?

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

Possible complications

Prevention

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma On the Web

Ongoing Trials at Clinical Trials.gov

Images of Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Videos on Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

FDA on Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

CDC on Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

carcinoma in the news

Blogs on Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Directions to Hospitals Treating Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Risk calculators and risk factors for Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

For the WikiDoc page for this topic, click here

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

Cancer of the throat is cancer of the vocal cords, voice box (larynx), or other areas of the throat.

What are the symptoms of Nasopharyngeal carcinoma?

What causes Nasopharyngeal carcinoma?

People who smoke or use tobacco are at risk of developing throat cancer. Excessive alcohol use also increases risk. Smoking and drinking alcohol combined lead to an increased risk for throat cancers.

Who is at highest risk?

Most cancers of the throat develop in adults older than 50. Men are 10 times more likely than women to develop throat cancers.

Diagnosis

The doctor will perform a physical exam. This may show a lump on the outside of the neck.

Tests may include:

When to seek urgent medical care?

Call your health care provider if:

You have symptoms of throat cancer, especially hoarseness or a change in voice with no obvious cause that lasts longer than 3 weeks You find a lump in your neck that does not go away in 2 - 3 weeks

Treatment options

  • The goal of treatment is to completely remove the tumor, and prevent it from spreading to other parts of the body.

When the tumor is small, either surgery or radiation therapy alone can be used to remove the tumor.

  • Many patients also need swallowing therapy after treatment to help them adjust to the changes in the structure of the throat.

Where to find medical care for Nasopharyngeal carcinoma?

Directions to Hospitals Treating Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

Throat cancers can be cured in 90% of patients if detected early. If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or lymph nodes in the neck, 50 - 60% of patients can be cured. If the cancer has spread (metastasized) to parts of the body outside the head and neck, the cancer is not curable and treatment is aimed at prolonging and improving quality of life.

After treatment, patients generally need therapy to help with speech and swallowing. A small percentage of patients (5%) will not be able to swallow and will need to be fed through a feeding tube.

Possible complications

Prevention of Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Avoid smoking and other tobacco exposure. Limit or avoid alcohol use.

Sources

National Library of Medicine


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