Anadolu Health Center Otorhinolaryngology Specialist Prof. Dr. Bülent Evren Erkul said, “The symptoms of nasopharyngeal cancer may initially resemble those of more common diseases such as upper respiratory tract infection or chronic nasal congestion. Therefore, the diagnosis of cancer may not be made by looking at the symptoms in the early stages of the disease and may be delayed. The disease may not show any symptoms in the early stages.
Anadolu Health Center shared that the most common symptoms in nasopharyngeal cancer are swelling in the lymph nodes in the neck region, nasal congestion, tinnitus, predominantly unilateral hearing loss, persistent ear infection that does not improve despite treatment, sore throat, headache, blood in the saliva and nosebleeds. Otorhinolaryngology Specialist Prof. Dr. Bülent Evren Erkul said, “Nasopharyngeal cancer is more common in men than women. Although the EBV virus is the most common factor, smoking, frequent consumption of salted and pickled foods, and genetic factors play a role in the formation of nasopharyngeal cancer, and the rate of being seen twice in young and old age peaks.
Nasopharyngeal cancer is common in countries where tobacco use is common.
Underlining that it is a type of cancer seen in societies like Turkey where tobacco use is common, Prof. Dr. Bülent Evren Erkul said, “The absence of symptoms in the early stages of the disease can create a negative situation in terms of early diagnosis and treatment. Even in the presence of swelling in the neck, nasal congestion, nosebleeds, especially hearing loss that does not respond to unilateral treatment, the necessary controls should be made by applying to the Ear Nose and Throat Diseases doctor in the nearest health center.
Pay attention to swelling in the neck area
Emphasizing that for the diagnosis of nasopharyngeal cancer, first of all, the patient's detailed medical history should be taken, his symptoms, if any, should be questioned, and it should be investigated whether he has the risk factors determined for cancer, Otorhinolaryngology Specialist Prof. Dr. Bülent Evren Erkul said, “Afterwards, a physical examination is performed. For nasopharyngeal cancer, palpable swelling in the neck region may be significant. Nasal endoscopy can be performed to examine the nasopharynx more closely and in detail for diagnosis. Nasal endoscopy is usually performed without or under local anesthesia. If a structure that may suggest cancer is observed during the procedure, a biopsy sample is taken from this tissue. As a result of the pathological examination of the tissue sample taken, it is revealed whether the mass is benign or malignant (cancer). If the tissue sample is compatible with nasopharyngeal cancer, parameters such as cancer subtype and stage can also be revealed by pathological examination.
The stage of the disease is important for treatment.
prof. Dr. Bülent Evren Erkul continued as follows:
“Imaging methods such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Positron Emission Scintigraphy (PET) and Computed Tomography (CT) can be used. The stage of the cancer is determined in the light of the pathology results and the information obtained from the imaging methods. This staging is very important in terms of determining the treatment protocol to be applied to the patient. When determining the treatment plan, many parameters such as the stage of the cancer, the patient's age and general health status are taken into consideration.
“Surgery is not a first-line method in the treatment of nasopharyngeal cancer. In case of recurrence of the tumor in both the nasopharynx and neck region after radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy treatment, endoscopic or open techniques for the tumor in the nasopharynx and, in case of recurrence in the neck, neck dissection and cleaning of the neck glands can be performed.
Günceleme: 29/11/2022 14:38