What is nasopharyngeal cancer?

The nasopharynx is a part of the body that is behind your nose and at the top of the throat. So it is really quite literally in the middle of your head.

You can get cancers of the nasopharynx, and numerically the biggest number of those occur in people of Southeast Asian origin, and they’re actually associated with infection with a virus called the Epstein-Barr virus that happens to be very, very common in Southern China.

What are the symptoms of nasopharyngeal cancers?

Those cancers usually present either with a very blocked nose or some headaches, or more commonly with lumps in the side of the neck. And they are treated with a combination usually of radiation and chemotherapy, and actually are very curable. The vast majority of these patients are cured of these diseases.

Professor Michael Boyer is Medical Oncologist at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse


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