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Pharynx Cancer

This is a rare type of cancer that affects the part of the throat – pharynx connecting the back of the nose to the back of the mouth.

Symptoms:

It is often hard to recognize pharynx cancer because the symptoms are similar to other less serious conditions. Many people do not have any symptoms until the cancer reaches an advanced stage.

Symptoms can include:

  • A lump in the neck
  • Hearing loss (usually only in one year)
  • Tinnitus (hearing sound from inside the body)
  • A blocked or stuffy nose
  • Nosebleed

Causes:

The exact cause of Pharynx cancer is unknown although a number of factors can increase your risk of developing the condition. About 3 time as many men as women are affected by this cancer and the average age at diagnosis is about 50.

  • Tobacco use – including smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • A virus called HPV
  • Having a diet very high in salt cured meats and fish
  • A diet lacking in fruits and vegetables
  • Being regularly exposed to hardwood dust through your job
  • Having a first degree relative (such as a parent) who has had the condition

Treatment:

  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy

In most cases a combination of these will be used. Surgery is not generally used because it is hard for surgeons to access the affected area. 

Prevention:

  • Stop Smoking
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all
  • Choose a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables
  • Protect yourself from HPV