In Singapore, the most common head and neck cancer occurs at the junction of the back of the nose, and the top of
the throat (pharynx) called Nasopharyngeal Cancer (NPC). This is a form of nose cancer.
There are approximately 400 new cases of NPC diagnosed each year and it is the sixth most common type of cancer in Singapore. The cause of the disease is focused around three main factors - Epstein-Barr Viral Infection, ethnic & familial trends, and diet.
The majority of the NPC patients are detected at a late stage when patients present with 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. The diagnosis is made on biopsy of the tumour in the nasopharynx, which shows undifferentiated carcinoma. Treatment of NPC usually involves radiation therapy with possible chemotherapy. We have set protocols of treatment based on our experience over the years in treating this cancer.