Know more about Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (NPC)
- Nasopharynx located behind the nasal cavity and above the throat, quite a hidden area. When there is gene mutation of the cells, it may develop into NPC.
- According to clinical investigation, there is close relationship between Epstein Barr Virus (EB virus) and NPC.
Who is at high risk of NPC?
- Chinese: According to statistic, Chinese have the highest prevalence for NPC, particularly for those in Southern part, that's why NPC is also called “Cantonese cancer”.
- Male: NPC is one of the top ten cancers in Hong Kong, male prevalence is two to three times of female, particularly for those between 20 to 44 years old, NPC has the highest incident rate; and for those between 45 to 64 years old, the incident rate is highest.
- Family history: Those with direct relatives have developed NPC have higher chance to be inherited with this cancer.
Detect NPC earlier
- Symptoms of early stage NPC are not obvious, but with its progression and the tumor cells affecting the peripheral organs, symptoms evolving will be including:
● Blood inside nose secretion and sputum
● Nose congestion with continuous bleeding
● Tinnitus (ringing) in one ears or impaired hearing
● Swollen lymph node
● Face and neck pain / numbness
- As a matter of fact, cure rate for Phase I (early stage) NPC can be as high as 90%, but with the progression of the disease, cure rate for Phase II and II (intermediate stage) NPC will reduce to 70% and 50% respectively, and with the metastasis in Phase IV (late stage), average remaining life span is just about 6 months.
- In the other words, it will be already at late stage with the appearance of the aforementioned symptoms, treatment effectiveness will be impaired. And treatment for late stage NPC will bring along much more undesirable side effects, such as deaf, blindness, loss of taste, loss of saliva secretion, loss of teeth and trismus. There is no vaccine for NPC, so “early detection for early treatment” is still the golden rule, endorsed by medical professionals.
Early Detection of NPC, Saves Lives
What is NP Screen?
✔ DNA test is a kind of unique technology for very early detection of cancer.
✔ DNA test is highly accurate, only small amount of specimen is adequate for analysis, very useful for early detection of cancer cells.
- NP Screen is a break through technique newly introduced to Hong Kong for early detection of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). By using a specially designed brush, passing through the mouth, the doctor can collect the small amount of cells sample from surface of the nasopharynx by gentle swabbing, this can avoid the DNA cells break and dissolve in blood, compromising the accuracy.
- The specimen will then be tested with quantitative polymerase chain reaction technique (Q-PCR) to check the EBV DNA index, with 99% accuracy.
- In the past NPC was detected by blood testing for EV virus and DNA index, as well as endoscopic viewing.
- Taking the blood test as example, it will only be more accurate with the larger size tumor, so clinically there is chance for “false positive” or “false negative” result, which will delay the golden period for treatment.
Benefits of NP Screen
- Simple and convenient: can be done at clinic in just in 1 minute time
- High accuracy: Through the mouth, doctors can make use of the specially designed brushes to collect the specimens directly from the hidden area
- First line screening for NPC: avoid the unnecessary traumatic biopsy test
NP Screen and endoscope
- Tumor of early stage NPC is not obvious, in some cases the tumor hide beneath the submucosa, which cannot not be easily seen with the endoscope.
- If endoscope combined with the NP Screen technique, NPC can be detected more comprehensively.
Be considerate to you and your family, please consult your doctors.
Click here to learn more about NP Screen.