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Treatment of early and locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Authors
Edwin P Hui, MD
Anthony TC Chan, MD
Quynh-Thu Le, MD
Section Editors
Marshall R Posner, MD
Bruce E Brockstein, MD
David M Brizel, MD
Marvin P Fried, MD, FACS
Deputy Editor
Michael E Ross, MD

INTRODUCTION

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma arises from the lining of the nasopharynx, the narrow tubular passage behind the nasal cavity. Worldwide, there are approximately 80,000 incident cases and 50,000 deaths annually, but there is remarkable variation in racial and geographic distribution [1]. (See "Epidemiology, etiology, and diagnosis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma", section on 'Epidemiology'.)

The treatment of locoregional nasopharyngeal cancer is presented here. The treatment of recurrent and metastatic disease is discussed separately. (See "Treatment of recurrent and metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma".)

PATHOLOGY AND STAGING

The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies nasopharyngeal carcinoma into three histopathologic types [2] (see "Epidemiology, etiology, and diagnosis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma", section on 'Histology'):

Keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma (formerly WHO type I)

Nonkeratinizing carcinoma, which includes differentiated carcinoma (formerly WHO type II) and undifferentiated carcinoma (formerly WHO type III)

                      

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Mon Oct 10 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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