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Screening for nasopharyngeal cancer

Screening means testing people for early stages of a disease. This is before they have any symptoms. For screening to be useful the tests:

  • need to be reliable at picking up cancers
  • overall must do more good than harm to people taking part
  • must be something that people are willing to do

Screening tests are not perfect and have some risks. The screening programme should also be good value for money for the NHS.

No screening available

There is no national screening programme because:

  • this cancer is very rare in the UK, so many people would have unnecessary tests
  • the benefits don't outweigh the costs

Talk to your doctor if you think you are at high risk of nasopharyngeal cancer.