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Nasopharyngeal Cancer Risk Factors & Symptoms

by Mathew Marshall
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Overian Cancer Statistics, Causes, Risk Factors & Symptoms

Nasopharyngeal cancer is a form of malignant tumor that forms when a group of cells in the nasopharynx becomes cancerous and begin to multiply uncontrollably.

Although there is treatment, often, when diagnosis is established, the tumor has already spread to the neck.

What are the risk factors of Nasopharyngeal cancer? 

This is a very rare type of cancer, and risk factors may include:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Working around wood dust
  • Regular exposure to formaldehyde.

Nasopharyngeal cancer is also connected to a virus called Epstein-Barr virus. The virus invades the area at the back of the nose and causes uncontrolled division of cells that compose the nasopharyngeal tissue.


Usually, people with Epstein-Barr virus do not develop any cancer. As for now, there is no known explanation why it increases the risk for this particular cancer.

The Epstein-Barr virus mainly infects people of Asian descent, North Africa. Thus, the tumor is mostly diagnosed in people from these locations.

 What are the symptoms of Nasopharyngeal cancer? 

Most nasopharyngeal cancer symptoms are nasal; they are linked to the nose. Nasal symptoms may include:

  • Nosebleeds;
  • Nasal obstruction;
  • Increased mucus production in the nose.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Weakening of hearing or tinnitus;
  • Headaches;
  • One or more bumps in the neck
  • Bad breath
  • Eye problem.
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