Nasopharyngeal cancer develops in a hollow canal that starts at the back of the nose and ends at the esophagus. Cancer can form in several types of nasopharyngeal cells, but it most commonly affects the squamous cells and epithelial cells that line the nasopharynx.
Nasopharyngeal tumors develop as a result of cellular DNA changes. Sometimes, these changes occur as a direct result of an Epstein-Barr virus infection. In other cases, there is no known cause.
Like most types of cancer, nasopharyngeal cancer most commonly occurs in adults, but children can develop nasopharyngeal tumors as well. In some cases, the tumors are noncancerous (benign), but most are cancerous and capable of spreading to other parts of the body (malignant).
Choosing a nasopharyngeal cancer treatment team
Because nasopharyngeal cancer is a type of head and neck cancer, it’s best to seek treatment from oncologists who focus on diagnosing and treating head and neck tumors. At Moffitt Cancer Center, we have a highly specialized Head and Neck Oncology Program where patients with all types and stages of nasopharyngeal cancer can turn for comprehensive, individualized treatment.
The experienced medical professionals on Moffitt’s multispecialty team include:
- Medical oncologists (chemotherapy specialists)
- Radiation oncologists
- Head and neck surgeons
- Speech therapists
- Registered dietitians
- Other supportive care providers
If you’d like to consult with our team, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online to request an appointment. We welcome patients who have already been diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer and are ready to start treatment, as well as individuals who are experiencing symptoms that have yet to be evaluated. We do not require physician referrals.