Nasopharyngeal cancer is a specific type of neck and head cancer, which starts in the upper region of one’s throat behind his/her nose and across the base of patient’s skull, also known as nasopharynx. Cancer mainly starts whenever the growth of cells takes place out of one’s control and it takes place in almost every area in the human body. However, nasopharyngeal cancer/carcinoma mainly starts within the cells, which line the external and internal body surfaces of a patient, also called epithelial cells.(1)


How Common Is Nasopharyngeal Cancer Or Is It A Rare Disease?


How Common Is Nasopharyngeal Cancer Or Is It A Rare Disease?

NPC i.e. nasopharyngeal cancer disease is a rare type of cancer disease in most of the countries of the world. If you have a look at the statistics of nasopharyngeal cancer in different regions of the United States and other surrounding countries of the world, you will find only one case among 100,000 people calculated on a yearly basis.


However, other statistics had shown the nasopharyngeal cancer disease is relatively more common in specific areas of the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa. Even if you look at the scenario of China, you will find only 21cases among 100,000 people and that too in only a few of the regions of China. Especially, nasopharyngeal cancer is common in Canada and Alaska regions.

The risk related to nasopharyngeal cancer increases gradually throughout the entire life of an individual. However, it takes place in people belonging to almost every age, including the kids and children. Approximately half of the total nasopharyngeal cancer patients in the United States are youngsters i.e. people less than 55years.(2)

Types Of Nasopharyngeal Cancers

According to the research study conducted by the World Health Organization, an individual may suffer from 3 major types of nasopharyngeal cancers and each of them begins from epithelial cells responsible to line the nasopharynx. However, the cells in each of NPC have different structure when we look them closely below a microscope.

  • Non-keratinizing and undifferentiated type of carcinoma
  • Non-keratinizing and differentiated carcinoma
  • Keratinizing yet squamous cell carcinoma(1)


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Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: July 1, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer


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