What is Nasopharyngeal Lymphoepithelioma of the Head and Neck?
Nasopharyngeal lymphoepithelioma is a type of squamous cell carcinoma that usually develops in the upper part of the throat behind the nose and is called the nasopharynx. In rare cases, it occurs in other areas of the head and neck. Lymphoepithelioma of the nasopharynx of the head and neck tends to spread to nearby lymph nodes and other distant parts of the body. Squamous cell carcinomas originate from the squamous cells of the body. Squamous cells are thin, flat cells that form the surface of the skin and line the hollow organs of the body, such as the lines of the respiratory tract, digestive tract, and hollow organs of the reproductive system, such as the vulva, vagina, cervix and the uterus.
Disease Etiology (Causes)
Certain genetic mutations and risk factors, such as cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, tobacco chewing, and human papillomavirus infection, are responsible for the development of nasopharyngeal lymphoepithelioma of the head and neck.
Signs and Symptoms
The common signs and symptoms are;
- A mass, lump or tumour in the head or neck region which may be painful or not painful
- Swelling or sore throat that does not cure and occurs repeatedly
- Bad smell from the mouth
- Hoarse voice
- Difficulty in breathing
- Difficulty in swallowing food
- Recurrent obstruction or blockage of the nose
- Pain in the jaw
- Numbness of the face, neck or head
The following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Imaging tests such as X-Ray, CT-scan (computerized tomography), PET-scan (Positron emission tomography) help detect the site, size, and location of the tumour.
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Tumour biopsy and histopathological examination
- Nasopharyngolaryngoscopy (A camera device that is inserted into the mouth and throat to visualize the mouth, throat and larynx to detect any disease).
Surgical resection (surgical removal of the tumour along with some healthy surrounding tissues) radiation therapy, chemotherapy and targeted immunotherapy are the main treatment options.
What Support can we Give for Nasopharyngeal Lymphoepithelioma of the Head and Neck?
Nasopharyngeal Lymphoepithelioma of the Head and Neck is rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Nasopharyngeal Lymphoepithelioma of the Head and Neck, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
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