Nasopharyngeal Cancer (NPC)

The nasopharynx is an area behind the nose, at the centre of the head, which can only be examined by special instruments. Nearby structures are the nose, nasal sinuses, the Eustachian tube leading to the middle ear, and the base of the skull bone containing a few nerves that control sensation and movement of the eye and the face. The nasopharynx has a strong lymphatic link with the neck glands on both sides of the neck.

The causes of nasopharyngeal cancer include inherited characteristics, infection by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and certain environmental factors.



The most common symptoms of NPC include:                                       

  • Enlarged lymph node in the neck area

  • Blood in nasal secretions

  • Blocked nose

  • Ringing in the ears

  • Hearing problems

As the tumour progresses to the skull base, these symptoms may occur:

  • Headache

  • Facial numbness

  • Double vision

  • Trouble opening the mouth

Symptoms of early NPC are common to other upper respiratory diseases such as rhinitis and sinusitis. Should any of the above symptoms emerge, please consult your doctor immediately.


Reduce your risks    

  • Avoid eating salted fish and preserved foods

  • Stop smoking

For more cancer-related information and support, please visit the Hong Kong Cancer Fund website or contact Hong Kong Cancer Fund free enquiry hotline: (852) 3656 0800


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Source: Hong Kong Cancer Fund


The information on this page is for reference only. It is not intended to constitute a recommendation, and it is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. You should not act on any information on this page without seeking specific professional advice.