It’s hay fever season, so chances are you have a stuffy nose.
When pollen levels are high, it’s easy to mistake an allergy for something more serious — say, nasal cancer.
The disease, also called nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), affects the nasopharynx.
This is the upper part of the throat (pharynx) behind the nose.
Around 260 people are diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer in the UK each year, according to the NHS.
Most sufferers only recognize the symptoms at a much later stage.
This is because the symptoms can be disguised as a stuffy nose.
It’s that feeling you get when you try to blow your nose in a tissue, but the stuffy feeling doesn’t go away.
And as with any cancer, the earlier it is detected, the better the prognosis.
A 2021 study of 184 of those cancer cases in Pakistan found that more than 70 percent were initially diagnosed with stage four disease.
At this late stage, the cancer is likely to have spread to nearby structures, such as the eyes Very good health.
The 5 most common symptoms of nasal cancer
The most common symptoms of nasal and sinus cancer are:
- a stuffy nose that doesn’t go away and usually affects only one side
- a decreased sense of smell
- Mucus runs out of the nose – this can be bloody
- Mucus flows into the back of your nose and throat
At a later stage, however, the following signs are included:
- Pain or numbness in the face, especially in the upper cheek, that does not go away
- swollen glands in the neck
- partial vision loss or double vision
- a bulging eye
- a teary eye that won’t go away
- pain or pressure in one ear
- a persistent lump or growth on the face, nose, or roof of the mouth
Who is most at risk?
dr Keng Hua said there are certain genetic factors that could make someone more susceptible to nose cancer.
Speak with CNA lifestyle The expert said that men are more than twice as likely to get NPCs than women.
He explained that women might be somewhat protected from NPC due to higher estrogen levels.
“Others suspect that smoking could be the cause, as the habit is more common in men. However, there is no conclusive evidence,” he added.
Another factor is also that there are NPCs in the family, with people of southern Chinese descent being more at risk, he said.
“More than 70 percent of cases occur in East and Southeast Asia.”