Diagnosis

There are a number of tests for nasopharyngeal cancer, including blood tests and imaging scans. The tests you take will depend on the type and stage of the cancer.

  • Nasopharynx Examination

    A small telescope with a light at the front of a flexible tube (nasendoscope) is inserted into the nasopharynx through the nose or the mouth, allowing the doctor to examine the neighbouring area.

  • Biopsy

    A small piece of body tissue is removed under local anaesthetic and examined to determine if the cells are cancerous.

Further tests may include the following.

  • MRI Scan

    MRI uses a magnetic field rather than X-rays to produce images of a cross-section of the inside of your body. Sometimes, a special dye is injected to ensure the image is clear.

  • CT Scan

    A CT scan takes a number of detailed pictures of an area inside your body. The scan may show if the cancer has spread.

  • Chest x-ray

    A simple and fast method, this common diagnostic test uses radiation to produce images of the inside of the chest.

  • PET Scan

    After receiving an injection of radioactive glucose in the vein, you lie on a flat bed and enter a scanner. The machine rotates around your body and takes pictures of where glucose is being used inside you. Being more active and therefore taking up more glucose than normal cells, cancer cells show up brighter in the picture.

  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) Test

    A blood test to check for antibodies and DNA markers of the Epstein-Barr virus.

  • Hearing Test

    NPC may affect hearing. The doctor will check if you can hear soft and loud sounds and low- and high-pitched sounds.

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