Treatments for stage 2 nasopharyngeal cancer
Chemoradiation is the main treatment for stage 2 nasopharyngeal cancer. In chemoradiation, chemotherapy is given during the same time period as radiation therapy. Each treatment makes the other more effective.
Chemoradiation therapy for stage 2 nasopharyngeal cancer uses cisplatin and external beam radiation therapy.
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You may be offered radiation therapy for stage 2 nasopharyngeal cancer if you can’t tolerate chemoradiation and its side effects. External beam radiation is given to the site of the tumour followed by preventive radiation to the lymph nodes in the neck (cervical lymph nodes).
The type of external beam radiation therapy used for stage 2 nasopharyngeal cancer is usually intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).
Chemotherapy with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil (Adrucil, 5-FU) is often given after radiation or chemoradiation therapy to lower the chance that the cancer will come back (recur).
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American Cancer Society. Nasopharyngeal Cancer. 2015: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/nasopharyngeal-cancer.html.
National Cancer Institute. Nasopharyngeal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®) Health Professional Version. 2015: https://www.cancer.gov/types/head-and-neck/hp/nasopharyngeal-treatment-pdq#section/all.
Ng WT, Ngan RKC, Chan SH, et al . Management of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Bernier J (ed.). Head and Neck Cancer: Multimodality Management. Springer; 2016: 26: 445 - 473.