Nasopharyngeal Cancer

Nasopharyngeal cancer is a disease in which cancer originates in the tissues of the nasopharynx – the upper part of the throat (pharynx) behind the nose. Nasopharyngeal cancer most commonly starts in the squamous cells that line the nasopharynx.

Nasopharyngeal cancer is a type of head and neck cancer. Head and neck cancers account for approximately 4 percent of all cancers in the United States, or about 76,000 of the estimated 1.9 million new cancer cases expected in 2022, according to the National Cancer Institute.

These cancers are nearly twice as common among men as they are among women and are diagnosed more often among people over age 50 than they are among younger people.

Ethnic background – having Chinese or Asian ancestry – and being exposed to the Epstein-Barr virus are risk factors for nasopharyngeal cancer, as is heavy alcohol consumption.

Nasopharyngeal Cancer Treatment (Adult) (PDQ®)

Source: National Cancer Institute