Nose Cancer

Nose cancer, medically termed as nasopharyngeal cancer, is a rare type of cancer that originates in the nasopharynx, the upper part of the throat behind the nose. Understanding its presentation, symptoms, consequences, and seeking timely medical advice are crucial for early detection and effective treatment.

Presentation and Symptoms:

  • Nasal Symptoms: Nosebleeds (epistaxis) or nasal congestion that doesn’t resolve.
  • Ear Symptoms: Hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), or ear infections.
  • Respiratory Symptoms: Difficulty breathing through the nose or frequent sinus infections.
  • Swelling: Lumps in the neck due to swollen lymph nodes.
  • Pain: Persistent pain in the nose, ears, or throat.
  • Changes in Voice: Hoarseness or changes in voice quality.
  • Visual Changes: Blurred or double vision, particularly if the cancer affects nearby structures.

Prevalence in the Chinese Population:

Nasopharyngeal cancer, the most common type of nose cancer, has a notably higher prevalence among individuals of Chinese descent compared to other ethnic groups. In fact, the incidence rates are highest in Southern China, where it’s considered one of the most prevalent cancers. Genetic predisposition, along with environmental and lifestyle factors, contribute to this higher prevalence in the Chinese population.

Proportion in Singapore:

Singapore, with a significant Chinese population, has one of the highest incidences of nasopharyngeal cancer globally. In fact, it is the most common cancer among males in Singapore and the fourth most common cancer among females. The ethnic Chinese community in Singapore bears a disproportionate burden of nasopharyngeal cancer compared to other ethnic groups in the region.

Age Group Affected:

Nose cancer, particularly nasopharyngeal cancer, tends to affect adults more commonly, with a peak incidence between the ages of 30 and 50 years old. However, it can occur at any age, and the risk increases with advancing age. In Singapore, the highest incidence rates are observed in the age group between 45 and 64 years old, although cases can also occur in younger individuals.

Understanding the prevalence among specific populations and age groups is crucial for targeted screening and early detection efforts, particularly in high-risk populations like the Chinese community in Singapore. Early detection can significantly improve treatment outcomes and survival rates for individuals diagnosed with nose cancer.


If left untreated, nose cancer can spread to nearby tissues and organs, leading to severe complications such as:

  • Damage to Nearby Structures: Invasion into the skull base, brain, or nearby nerves can cause neurological deficits.
  • Metastasis: Spread of cancer to distant organs like the lungs or bones, reducing treatment options and survival rates.
  • Impaired Function: Difficulty breathing, swallowing, or speaking, impacting quality of life.

Seeking Medical Advice:

Anyone experiencing persistent nasal symptoms, especially nosebleeds, pain, or changes in vision or hearing, should seek prompt medical attention. A visit to an ENT specialist (otorhinolaryngologist) is crucial for accurate diagnosis and treatment planning.


During the consultation, the doctor will:

  • Review Medical History: Inquire about symptoms, risk factors (such as smoking or family history of cancer), and general health.
  • Physical Examination: Examination of the nose, throat, ears, and neck for any abnormalities or signs of cancer.
  • Diagnostic Tests: Additional tests such as imaging studies (MRI, CT scans) and endoscopic examination may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of the cancer.


  • Biopsy: Sampling of tissue from the suspicious area for microscopic examination to confirm cancer diagnosis.
  • Imaging: MRI or CT scans to visualize the size and location of the tumor, and to detect any spread to nearby structures or distant organs.
  • Blood Tests: Evaluation of blood counts and specific tumor markers to assess overall health and monitor treatment response.

Treatment Options:

Treatment depends on the stage and location of the cancer but may include:

  • Radiation Therapy: High-energy rays to kill cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: Drugs to destroy cancer cells, often used in combination with radiation therapy.
  • Surgery: Removal of the tumor and surrounding tissues, sometimes followed by reconstructive surgery.
  • Targeted Therapy: Drugs that target specific molecules involved in cancer growth.
  • Immunotherapy: Boosting the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells.


Nose cancer requires early detection and a multidisciplinary approach for effective treatment. Timely consultation with healthcare professionals, accurate diagnosis through appropriate investigations, and access to various treatment modalities significantly improve outcomes and quality of life for patients. If you or someone you know experiences symptoms suggestive of nose cancer, seeking medical advice promptly is paramount.

Pang Xin Yi
Pang Xin Yi
I consult Dr Pang for various issues - from nose bleed to chronic hives to ear block. He is always very thorough in his work. Dr Pang is very easy to talk to, and always tries to understand not just your condition, but your medical history and the environment you live and work in. He asked thorough questions about my medical and lifestyle history, carried out allergen tests to narrow down possible causes and gave very detailed advice on how to manage my hives condition. Appointment times are also adhered to (give and take 10-15min allowance which I find totally acceptable). Dr Pang also shares treatment options openly but always left it to my own discretion to pick the one I am most comfortable with. I also appreciate his staff for always being friendly and patient, and giving clear instructions when I had tests to take. It’s hard to find a clinic these days where you could have a comfortable and relaxed visit so I am glad that I found them.
Vijesh Kishore
Vijesh Kishore
Dr. Pang Yoke Teen with his pleasing personality and quick diagnosis and great advise thinking always the best for the patient . One of the few doctors who believe in giving less medicines the minimal required and the clinic staff is very helpful, efficient and caring and accommodative
Oriana De Saint Priest
Oriana De Saint Priest
I had a very good experience with Dr Pang YT and can highly recommend him for his professionalism
Poh Wee Koon
Poh Wee Koon
Been visiting Dr Pang for allergy-related issues for a year and counting. The service is always prompt and friendly, and treatment as well as symptom management has been great. Appointments are not too hard to get, and picking up of medication is easy too. All good and a nice, friendly place to seek help at.
Stefan Andersson
Stefan Andersson
I’ve had a very good experience at Dr Pang’s clinic. I had concerns around sleep apnea and Dr Pang identified that I was suffering from a lot of different allergies and food sensitivities. Now I’m getting treated for some of these allergies and it has improved my life quality a lot which I’m so grateful for. Him and his team of nurses are also super friendly and down to earth so it’s always a nice experience visiting the clinic as well! Highly recommended.
Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee
First visit to Dr Pang was almost 10 years ago where he treated my extremely severe allergic rhinitis. My allergies were so bad that I would get attacks triggered every single day in normal environments. Ever since the treatment I have probably only experienced allergy attacks less than 5 times in the past 10 years, and those times I can pinpoint were in dusty conditions. Thank you Dr Pang for changing my life for the better!! Will always be grateful to you and your clinic :)
Aditi Mann
Aditi Mann
Thank you Dr Pang Yoke Teen for helping me to cope with my allergies! I went to Dr Pang after suffering from severe allergies for several years. My nose congestion and eye irritation would completely ruin my quality of life. At the first consultation Dr Pang was able to diagnose the problem and prescribed the necessary medication. I started to feel better after taking the medication for just a couple of days. I have been under Dr Pang’s care for more than 6 months now and I have almost forgotten what it is to have an allergy! A special mention for Sheila and the other staff who also make the experience to the clinic an easy and comfortable one - thank you too!
Shao Wei Tan
Shao Wei Tan
I’ve had a sensitive nose and sinus issues since childhood. After consulting Dr Pang, I went for a surgery and on a course of immunotherapy. It just works — I almost never get runny / blocked nose anymore unless I’m actually sick!
Derrick Tan
Derrick Tan
Had issues with allergies for a really long time and Dr Pang came up with an effective treatment plan which includes immunotherapy. Feeling better now

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