Nasopharynx is quite a concealed part of our body. Symptoms of early nasopharyngeal cancer usually are not obvious. They often appear as stuffy nose, nose bleeding, headache and tinnitus, which are easy to be neglected. Therefore, many patients fail to have early diagnosis and are found in advanced stage when visiting the hospital. This brings great difficulty to treatment.
1. Nose bleeding: nose bleeding is one of the early symptoms of nasopharyngeal cancer. It usually appears as bleeding in a single nostril or with blood in nasal discharge. As the blood is few, it is easy to be neglected and mistaken as rhinitis or nasosinusitis.
2. Stuffy nose: stuffy nose is another early symptom of nasopharyngeal cancer. It usually appears as stuffiness in a single nostril. The stuffiness is mild when the tumor is small, but it becomes severer and appears in both nostrils as the tumor grows.
3. Tinnitus, decrease of hearing: Tinnitus, muffled hearing and decrease of hearing also are early signs of nasopharyngeal cancer. They are caused when the excrescence of the nasopharyngeal cancer blocks the eustachian orifice near the lesion. Hearing decrease also is likely a result of hearing nerve injury, which is caused by the deterioration of nasopharyngeal cancer. Tinnitus and hearing decrease are always misdiagnosed as otitis media or other diseases, and therefore, treatment is delayed.
4. Headache: about 70% nasopharyngeal cancer patients have headache, which usually appears as migraine. In the early stage, the location of headache is not fixed. It is occasional but can be the first or the only symptom that occurs. Headache caused by nasopharyngeal cancer is mainly a result from the cancer tissue’s invading to skull base, nerves and blood vessels.
5. Mass in the neck: nasopharyngeal cancer metastasis to the neck causes few masses, but they grow rapidly, with solid texture, poor activity and no compressive pain.
6. cranial nerve symptom: besides facial numbing, diplopia, blur vision, eyelid ptosis, cross eye, nasopharyngeal cancer can also cause loss of sensation in the throat, numbing in the soft palate, difficulty in swallowing, hoarse and tongue skew, etc.
Experts from Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou remind that if any of the above symptoms occurs, one should go to regular hospital immediately for examination and diagnosis to exclude nasopharyngeal cancer.