The pharynx, a digestive organ located between the mouth and the esophagus, is the passageway through which food and air pass. The nasopharynx is located in the upper part of the pharynx and refers to the part from the base of the brain to the soft palate. Nasopharyngeal cancer is a type of head and neck cancer, which refers to a malignant tumor in the nasopharynx. It has an incidence rate of about 1 in 100,000 people worldwide, and is known to occur mainly in the age group between the 30s and 50s. It is also reported to be more common in men than in women. Although the main cause of nasopharyngeal cancer is not clearly known, genetic factors or Epstein-Barr virus infection, unclean sanitation environment, chronic form of nasal inflammation, poor ventilation of the nasopharynx, salted meat and fish Excessive eating habits and exposure to polycyclic hydrocarbons that occur when heating food are known to have a major influence on the occurrence. In addition, smoking and drinking have been known to have an effect. In addition, it is known that the incidence rate of nasopharyngeal cancer is close to 30 times in southern China, and it is also known that the incidence rate is high in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Indonesia, where the proportion of the Chinese population is relatively high compared to other countries. It is assumed to have a significant impact. In addition, the incidence rate is decreasing among second-generation Chinese who immigrated to the United States, suggesting that living factors such as food and environment have a complex influence on the incidence. Now, let’s take a closer look at the main symptoms of nasopharyngeal cancer, as well as various information related to treatment and prevention.
Main symptoms of nasopharyngeal cancer
When nasopharyngeal cancer develops, various symptoms such as tinnitus and hearing loss may appear in one ear due to the symptoms of serous otitis media with dilute serous fluid. In addition, frequent nosebleeds and nasal congestion on one side are particularly severe, and there may be symptoms that make it difficult to swallow food. Also, lymph nodes in the neck may swell, or lumps may be felt around the neck. In addition, various symptoms such as sudden hoarseness or change in voice are also symptoms that appear during the progression of nasopharyngeal cancer. In the early stages of nasopharyngeal cancer, there are no symptoms. Also, even if symptoms appear, treatment may be delayed until it progresses to a certain extent because there are many parts that have similar symptoms to diseases such as rhinitis. However, if the detection is delayed and treatment is delayed, the survival rate and prognosis are significantly different. In addition, if cancer cells metastasize to the cranial nerves due to the progression of nasopharyngeal cancer, symptoms of double-looking objects may occur, and in the worst case, it may lead to a risk of cranial nerve palsy. Therefore, if the above-mentioned symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks, it is important to get an accurate examination through a visit. In particular, it is important for those in their 40s and 50s who have a higher incidence rate than other age groups to receive regular check-ups for head and neck cancers, including nasopharyngeal cancer.
Nasopharyngeal cancer treatment and prevention
1. Treatment based on various tests and diagnosis results
In order to diagnose nasopharyngeal cancer, a biopsy of the nasopharyngeal mass is performed through a nasal endoscope, and, if necessary, a fine needle aspiration test is performed in which a sample is aspirated and collected from a tissue or body fluid area. In addition, blood tests to confirm viral infection and various tests such as CT and MRI to evaluate the local invasion site and tumor size may also be performed. Since the site of nasopharyngeal cancer is difficult to remove with surgery, surgical treatment is difficult, and radiation therapy is the top priority. And in the case of advanced nasopharyngeal cancer, if it has metastasized to the body, radiation therapy may not be effective, so chemotherapy may be considered. Even after treatment, regular checkups and continuous management are also very important to prevent complications such as tooth loss or osteomyelitis.
2. Personal hygiene management
As it is known that nasopharyngeal cancer is caused by infection with Epstein Barr virus and poor hygiene, it is important to thoroughly manage personal hygiene such as hand washing. In addition, during the treatment period for nasopharyngeal cancer, symptoms such as loss of taste and dry mouth can be accompanied by sequelae from radiation therapy, so it is an important management habit to drink enough water.
3. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits
In order to prevent and improve symptoms of nasopharyngeal cancer, it is very important to consume fresh vegetables and fruits with a high content of various vitamins and minerals on a regular basis. In particular, as nitrosamine contained in salted preserved foods is known to be one of the causes of nasopharyngeal cancer, it is helpful to reduce the intake of salted and irritating foods. In addition, it is recommended to refrain from smoking because it is known that various harmful substances contained in cigarettes increase the risk of developing nasopharyngeal cancer by contacting the inner wall surrounding the pharynx. It is recommended to do