Nose Cancer

Nose cancer or Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) is almost exclusively found in the Chinese population. The factors for NPC include genetic, viral and environmental.


  1. The most common presenting symptom is a neck lump/swelling. The lump can be single or multiple, usually not painful. The lump/s will feel hard and stuck to the surrounding tissue.
  2. Nasal – nasal blockage (one-sided), epistaxis (bleeding)
  3. Ear – one-sided hearing loss due to fluid build-up in the middle ear compartment (otitis media)
  4. Other – diplopia (double vision), blood-stained phlegm

Screening for NPC

Screening is recommended for two groups of patients

  1. Patients with positive Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) serology on routine health screening
  2. Patients with a positive family history of nose cancer. Family history refers to first degree relatives eg. Parents, siblings

Screening involves endoscopic examination of the postnasal space.


The main treatment for NPC is radiotherapy. Chemotherapy is required if the tumor is found at the later stages. Surgery is reserved for recurrent disease.