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designated cancer center

Diagnosis and Treatment of Nasopharyngeal Cancer

The nasopharynx is the upper throat just behind the nose, extending to the area where the throat meets the ears. Unlike most head and neck cancers, tobacco and alcohol use are not believed to be the primary risk factors for developing nasopharyngeal cancer.

Instead, increased risk is seen in men, people of Chinese or Asian descent, and people exposed to the Epstein-Barr virus. The disease may also have a genetic component, since on extremely rare occasions clusters are seen where many people in the same family have nasopharyngeal cancer.

Stanford Expertise

Like all head and neck cancers, nasopharyngeal cancer is rare. Therefore, it is important to be seen by a team of physicians who have expertise in treating this specific disease. Nasopharyngeal cancers can be treated with surgery and/or radiation and chemotherapy, depending on the stage and type of cancer.

Stanford Cancer Center physicians have experience treating patients with nasopharyngeal cancer and have conducted research:

Hereditary Nasopharyngeal Cancer

If multiple people in your family have been diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer, genetic counselors at the Cancer Center can help you assess the risk to you and your family member. 

Stanford Medicine Resources:

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