Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (NPC)

Overview

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) refers to cancers that grow in the back of the sinuses and the upper part of the throat.

Symptoms

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma symptoms are similar to many other conditions and may include:

  • Lump in the neck
  • Hearing loss
  • Ear pressure
  • Nosebleeds 
  • Clogged sinuses

Diagnosis

To diagnose nasopharyngeal carcinoma, you’ll meet with your doctor for a physical exam and to discuss your symptoms. Then your doctor may order a biopsy of the tumor and test it for cancerous cells. 

If you have NPC, your Aurora care team, which includes Aurora Neuroscience Innovation Institute (ANII) neurologists and neurosurgeons, will assess whether the cancer has spread. This usually requires a PET, CT or MRI scan.

Treatment Options

The main treatment for nasopharyngeal cancer is radiation therapy. For all but the most early stage cancers, chemotherapy is added to radiation therapy to increase its effect.

Surgery may be considered for recurring tumors. At Aurora, our surgeons prefer to use the Expanded Endonasal Approach (EEA), a minimally invasive procedure. With EEA, the tumor is removed through the nasal passages, resulting in no incisions, a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery.

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