Surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are the most common treatment types for cancer. Your doctor will plan your treatment by taking into consideration the type and size of the tumour, whether the cancer has spread, your age and general health.

NPC and its treatment may affect ears, eyes and teeth. Doctors specialising in these areas may also take part in the treatment process.


This is the main form of treatment for NPC. Radiotherapy treats cancer by targeting radiation to destroy or injure cancer cells. It can be given externally, using a radiation source outside of your body, or internally, with the source implanted into your body. The decision of which to use depends on the type and stage of the cancer. Given the location of this cancer, a face mask will be developed for you during your treatment and special radiotherapy applied.

If you want to know more about radiotherapy, visit our treatment information here.


Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells which work by disrupting the growth of cancer cells. The drugs are sometimes given orally or more usually intravenously (injection into a vein). Chemotherapy is often given in combination with radiotherapy (together called chemoradiation) for a more advanced disease. It is also used when cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body.

If you want to know more about chemotherapy, visit our treatment information here.


Surgery is mainly used when initial treatment with radiotherapy falls short of expectations or to remove lymph nodes in the neck that may still contain cancer cells.

If you want to know more about surgery, visit our treatment information here.

Side Effects

Cancer treatments can cause a range of side effects. For more information on common side effects and tips on how to manage cope, please click here.

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