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Screening

Read about what screening is, and why there is no screening programme for nasopharyngeal cancer in the UK.

What is screening?

Screening means testing people for early stages of a disease 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 condition is very rare, 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. 

Last reviewed: 
27 Feb 2018
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    D Raghavan, MS Ahluwalia, C Blanke and others
    Wiley-Blackwell, 2017

  • Cancer and its Management (7th edition)
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    Wiley-Blackwell, 2015

  • Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology (10th edition)
    VT DeVita , TS Lawrence, SA Rosenberg
    Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 2015

Information and help