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Naso-pharyngeal angiofibroma in children: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About naso-pharyngeal angiofibroma in children

The term naso-pharyngeal angiofibroma refers to a benign (non-cancerous) tumour of the nasopharynx (the area of throat which lies between nose and throat). It is a clinically aggressive tumour which can invade the adjacent body tissues. It also has a tendency to bleed, which may result in significant morbidity and mortality.

Naso-Pharyngeal angiofibroma in children: Incidence, age and sex

The tumour develops exclusively in young male adolescents and has a high incidence of recurrence. Sometimes the tumour may resolve spontaneously.

Signs and symptoms of naso-pharyngeal angiofibroma in children: Diagnosis

The symptoms of naso-pharyngeal angiofibroma can be severe nasal obstruction with recurrent nose and sinus infection. There may be spontaneous and severe nasal bleeding accompanied with headache. Patient may complain of recurring ear infections and some degree of hearing loss as well. The tumour can be seen within the naso-pharyngeal cavity.

Diagnosis is made by examining the naso-pharyngeal area comprehensively. A CT scan may be advised to confirm the diagnosis. In rare cases, angiography is considered to detect the involvement of blood vessels.

Cause and prevention of naso-pharyngeal angiofibroma

The exact cause of development of naso-pharyngeal angiofibroma is not known. Similarly no therapy is known for the prevention of this tumour.

Naso-pharyngeal angiofibroma in children: Complications

Naso-pharyngeal angiofibroma is a benign condition; however in some cases, it may extend to other body tissues such as nasal cavity, nasal sinuses, upper jaw and the eyes. It may also lead to complications like hearing loss or blindness.

Naso-pharyngeal angiofibroma in children: Treatment

The tumour needs to be removed surgically. The surgery is a real challenge for E.N.T. surgeons due to the critical anatomical position of the naso-pharyngeal tumour. The tumour may be removed surgically partly through the mouth and partly through the nose. Radiotherapy is advised occasionally where the tumour may have eroded into the skull bone and middle cranial fossa. The prognosis of this tumour is fairly good only if detected and managed timely.