Health Articles

4 Risk Factors of Nasopharyngeal cancer


A definite cause of Nasopharyngeal cancer has not been discovered. Nevertheless, it is believed that there are various contributing factors to the disease.

  • Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV): Is a virus that results in infectious mononucleosis, commonly known as a kissing disease that transmits through saliva. It is a member of the herpes virus family. Studies have shown that patients with Nasopharyngeal cancer have higher level of immunity to mononucleosis than majority of the people.    
  • Nitrosamine: Is a chemical compound vastly found in leather, rubber and metal industry and contaminated in fermented and processed food as well as grilled meat.
  • Smoke and Dust: Whether it is smoke from wood burning or cigarette or dust. Extensive exposure to these smokes for a long period of time may contribute to the risk factor of Nasopharyngeal cancer.
  • Poor oral health: Bad oral hygiene or chronic inflammation of nasal cavity (chronic rhinitis) can also lead to Nasopharyngeal cancer.

Avoiding these contributing factors will lower the potential risks that can result in Nasopharyngeal cancer. The disease can be completely cured if diagnosed and treated at an early stage. The doctor will consider using radiotherapy only or in combination with chemotherapy. The course of treatment depends upon the stage of cancer cells and the health condition of each patient.

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