Nasopharyngeal Cancer in Children and Adolescents

Nasopharyngeal cancer treatment is complex because the disease and its treatments can affect breathing, swallowing, and talking. At Duke, our experienced team includes cancer experts, ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctors, dietitians, speech therapists, and others who work together to give your child complete care. We provide a full spectrum of services and support to help you and your family.

Specialized Cancer Care for Children at all Ages and Stages

Nasopharyngeal cancer is a tumor that develops in the upper part of the throat behind the nose. Since it is more common in adolescents than in younger children, it is important to work with a team that customizes care and support services to fit the needs of children of all ages.

  • Your child’s care team includes cancer doctors who specialize in radiation and chemotherapy, along with otolaryngologists (ear, nose and, throat -- or ENT -- doctors), specialized nurses, and social workers. Nutritionists and speech therapists are also part of your child’s medical team because nasopharyngeal cancer and its treatment affect eating, swallowing, and talking.
  • Our nasopharyngeal cancer specialists are also researchers who are working to improve treatment for childhood cancer. They work collaboratively with pediatric cancer experts from around the world through the Children's Oncology Group, the world’s largest childhood and adolescent cancer research organization. That means your child has access to the latest treatments that are based on the experience of childhood cancer experts worldwide.
  • Teens and young adults are too old to be treated like young kids but may be too young for adult care. Our Adolescent and Young Adult Program brings together the expertise of pediatric and adult cancer specialists to determine what’s best for your child. We offer psychological support to help them cope with cancer treatment and how it affects their self-confidence, appearance, and social life.


Diagnosing Nasopharyngeal Cancer

Our pediatric cancer doctors use blood tests and advanced imaging -- such as MRI, CT, and PET scans -- to diagnose nasopharyngeal cancer. Our ENT doctors examine the area closely and take a tiny sample of the tumor with a thin, flexible tube called a nasopharyngoscope that is inserted through the nose. This information helps the team develop a treatment plan that will offer your child the best possible results. 


Family-Friendly Support Services

We treat the whole child -- not just the disease. Your child receives a personalized treatment and follow-up plan that’s tailored to their needs. You have access to a variety of services that are designed to make your child’s experience as positive as possible and support your family throughout treatment.

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