Nasopharyngeal cancer is malignant cancer that develops in the tissues of the nasopharynx. It is also called nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Its tumors are not visible from outside. Its symptoms often remain undetected or undiagnosed as they are similar to various other health conditions. It is diagnosed by the diagnostic methods that show pictures of the nose and throat. It spreads to the other parts of the body, so the process is followed to divide them into stages for planning for treatment. This is called nasopharyngeal cancer staging.
How To Diagnose Nasopharyngeal Cancer?
Nasopharyngeal cancer can be diagnosed by following diagnostic procedures and methods-
Physical Examination And Medical History- the physician will evaluate the whole medical history of the patient. He will ask for the history of the patient’s health, his past illness and family history. He will perform a physical examination of the patient to check for general signs of the disease like swelling in the neck.(2)
Neurological Exam- he will perform a series of tests and ask questions to find out the function of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. He will also assess the mental status, coordination and ability to walk normally.(2)
Biopsy- the cells of the tumor are taken and studied under a microscope to find out the signs of cancer. Nasoscopy is used to look into tumors through the nose and remove the samples of the tissues. Endoscopy is also done to view the structures inside such as nose throat, esophagus, stomach, and duodenum to find out any cancerous growth and extract the tissue samples for microscopic study.(2)
MRI Scan– MRI scan is performed to get a detailed picture inside the body. It can find out any cancerous growth in the body with detailed images.(2)
CT Scan– CT scan is done to find out the detailed picture of areas throughout the body. These pictures are taken from different angles to find out the spread of NPC to different parts of the body. It also gives information about the extent of cancer.(2)
PET Scan- PET scan detects the malignancy of NPC. PET scan is performed to detect the spread of nasopharyngeal cancer to the bone. In some cases, the CT scan is done along with a PET scan to find out any cancer.(2)
Ultrasound Exam- it is another test that gives the detailed images in the abdomen by passing high-energy sound waves in the body.(2)
Chest X-Ray– in some cases, an x-ray of the organs and bones in the chest is performed to study the malignancy of NPC. It provides the pictures of the chest by passing the energy beam into the chest.(2)
Complete Blood Count (CBC)- complete blood count is necessary to study the health status of the patient. It is done to get the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and hemoglobin in the red blood cells.(2)
Blood Chemistry Studies- a blood sample is checked in the lab to determine the number of certain chemicals in the blood that is released by organs and tissues in the body.(2)
Epstein-Barr Virus Test- a blood test is performed to find out the antibodies released in response to the Epstein –Barr virus and its DNA markers.
Hearing Test- this test is done to check hearing abilities of each ear that can hear a soft or loud, low or high pitched sound.
HPV Test- this test is done to detect the presence of HPV infection.
What Is The Best Medicine For It?
There is no best medicine for nasopharyngeal cancer. The patient has to cancer treatment and depending on the stage of cancer the treatment procedure and prognosis is determined by the doctor.
The diagnosis of nasopharyngeal cancer is difficult as it resembles various other health problems in these areas. It is diagnosed by physical examination, medical history, and other diagnostic tests. These diagnostic tests involve biopsy, CBC, Epstein-Barr virus test and many others discussed above.
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