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Nasopharynx Cancer

Signs & Symptoms

‚ÄčNasopharyngeal Cancer (NPC) is usually diagnosed in its advanced stages, often characterized by lymph node enlargement in the neck. Other common presentations include blood stained sputum, nose bleeds, nose blockage, ear blockage, tinnitus (ringing sound in the ear) and hearing loss.

What causes it

‚ÄčThe cause of the disease revolves around three main factors - Epstein-Barr Viral Infection, ethnic and familial trends, and dietary influences.

About the condition

Nasopharynx Cancer

In Singapore, NPC is the most common head and neck cancer, occuring at the junction of the posterior nasal passage and upper throat (pharynx). This particular form of malignancy is catergorised as nose cancer. 

300 new cases of NPC are identified each year, ranking it as the sixth most frequently cancer in Singapore.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options

The diagnosis is established through a biopsy of the nasopharyngeal tumour, revealing undifferentiated carcinoma.

Treatment for NPC usually involves radiation therapy, often supplemented with possible chemotherapy. Our treatment protocols are well-sestablished, shaped by years of experience in managing this cancer.

In cases of small recurrent tumours, minimally invasive surgery is a viable option.  We continue to conduct trials on new treatment modalities (novel therapeutics) for NPC.

Our patient data series suggest a strong first degree familiar trend, promting us to offer screening to first degree relatives. The risk of NPC is notably higher for individuals witha close family member affected. To asses the efficacy of our screening programme, we have launched a free sceening initiative. For further information or to schedule an appointment, kindly contact (Ms) Serene Siow.

Call for participation in nose cancer screening research study

NPC study poster

Did you know? Nose cancer is the third most common cancer among 40- to 49-year-old males in Singapore.

NUHS is conducting a nose cancer screening research study in National University Polyclinics (NUP) in the west. We are calling for healthy volunteers to take part in this research study. Your participation will help in providing more data to improve early diagnosis and survival rate of nose cancer. It is complimentary for participants and consists of a blood draw for a serology test performed by trained nursing and phlebotomy staff, self-collection for saliva as well as a questionnaire.

Find out if you are eligilble and register your interest here

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