Nasopharynx Tumor

What is Nasopharynx Tumor?

Nasopharyn tumor is tumor that occurs in the nasopharynx, which is located behind nose and above the back of throat. The pharynx is a hollow tube approximately five inches long that starts behind the nose and ends at the top of the larynx and esophagus. Several types of tumors can develop in the nasopharynx. Some of these tumors are beningn (non-cancerous), but other are malignant (cancerous). Other than that, benign tumors of nasopharynx are fairly rare and tend to occur in children and young adult. These tumors do not spread to other parts of the body and are usually not life threatening. They include tumors or malformations of the vascular (blood-carrying) system, such as angiofibromas and hemangiomas, and benign tumors of minor salivary glands within the naopharynx.

What is Risk factor of Nasopharynx Tumor?

There are several risk factor of nasopharynx tumor risk factor:

    • Gender

Nasopharynx tumor is found about twice as often in males as it is in females.

    • Race

Nasopharynx is most common in Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. It is also fairly common in Northwest Canada and Greenland.

    • Diet

Diets with very high in salt-cured fish and meat will increase the risk factor of nasopharynx tumor. Indeed, the rate of this disease is dropping in southeast China as people begin eating a more Westemized diet.

    • Epstein-Barr virus infection

Epstein – Barr virus (EBV) is very common throughout the world, often occurring in childhoos. Almost all the nasopharynx tumor cells contain parts of the EBV, and most people with nasopharynx have evidence of infection by this virus in their blood.

    • Family History

Family members of people with NPC are more likely to get this tumor. It is known if this is because of inherited genes, shared environmental factors (such as the same diet or living quarters) or some combination of these.


How to diagnose nasopharynx tumor?

Many tests are required to diagnose tumor and find out if it has spread to another part of the body, called metastasis. Some test may also determine which treatment may be the most effective. There is several ways to diagnosed nasopharynx tumor:

    • Endoscopy

Endoscopy is a test allows the doctor to see inside the body with a thin, lighted, flexible tube called an endoscope. The person may be sedated as the tube is inserted through the mouth or nose to examine the head and neck areas. Other than that, sedation is giving medication to become more relaxed, calm, or sleepy.

    • Biopsy

A biopsy is the removal of a small amount of tissue for examination under a microscope. Other test can suggest that tumor is present, but only a biopsy can make a definite diagnosis. Then, the sample removed during the biopsy is analyzed by a pathologist.

    • Computed tomography (CAT) scan

A CT scan creates a three-dimensional picture of the inside of the body with an x-ray machine. A computer then combines these images into a detail. It also can measure the tumor’s size.

    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

This treatment uses magnetic fields, not x-rays, to produce details images of the body, especially images of soft tissue such as the tonsils and base of the tongue. MRI also is used to measure a tumor’s size.

    • Ultrasound

Ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of the internal organ.

    • Bone Scan

A bone scan uses a radioactive tracer to look at the inside of the bones. The tracer is injected into a patient’s vein. It collects in areas of the bone and is detected by a special camera.


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