Nasopharyngeal carcinoma: symptoms and treatment
Most cases of nasopharyngeal carcinoma is a squamous cell carcinoma, which begins in the tissues lining the throat. Tumors can occur in any part of the throat, including the nasopharynx, the area behind the nasal cavity, the area at the back of the mouth and throat.
Symptoms of nasopharyngeal cancer are similar to the manifestation of infectious diseases of the upper respiratory tract. It is for this reason often delayed proper treatment. Nonspecific symptoms reduce the chances of early detection of cancer, and thus, treatment.
Symptoms of nasopharyngeal carcinoma are not specific, but the patient in rare cases, immediately draws attention to them and takes an ordinary infectious disease. For this reason, the diagnosis of nasopharyngeal cancer is already in an advanced stage of the disease when the chances of recovery are small.
The main symptoms of nasopharyngeal carcinoma:
- unilateral hearing loss as a result of otitis media with effusion, which is caused by infiltration of the auditory tube;
- the increase in difficulty breathing through the nose;
- the timbre of the voice changes;
- violation of the coherent speech;
- mouth and nose can be unpleasant odor;
- bleeding from nose (rarely).
Symptoms of throat cancer can include non-healing wound or sore throat or ear. When the tumor of the nasopharynx begins to grow, it can hinder breathing. Immediately seek medical help due to severe breathing difficulties or uncontrolled bleeding.
It is important to note the symptoms of cancer as possible the chances of recovery are increased. Immediately contact your doctor if you have symptoms of nasopharyngeal cancer, such as an open wound or sore throat, ear pain, especially if any of these symptoms last longer than a week or two.
Treatment options depend on many factors such as stage of disease, tumor location, patient's age and other diseases that can be detected by a doctor during examination. Treatment of nasopharyngeal cancer is not simple, as the location of the tumor very often makes it impossible to assign a surgery, for this reason, doctors use radiolucent.
The main methods of treatment of nasopharyngeal cancer:
- Chemotherapy. This method of treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (nasopharyngeal carcinoma) is based on the destruction of abnormal (cancer) cells due to cytotoxic drugs. Often chemotherapy is combined with radiotherapy.
- Radiotherapy. In the early stages of the disease the best and most gentle method of treatment of nasopharyngeal cancer is radiotherapy. In the later stages of the disease, radiation therapy may be combined with chemotherapy and surgery.
- Microlaryngoscopy. Changes in the tumor, limited to the surface of the throat or vocal cords, can be removed with endoscopic surgery, using the conventional microsurgical instruments (forceps) or CO2 laser.
- A laryngectomy. For small tumors localized in the nasopharynx, the physician can use a laryngectomy – a procedure which is based on partial or complete removal of the larynx. After surgery, most patients retain the ability to speak and breathe.
Sometimes the need arises after all of the procedures performed to remove all abnormal cells of the affected lymph nodes. In addition, surgery is appointed in that case when you need to remove the recurrent tumor in the cervical lymph nodes.