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Epidemiology, etiology, and diagnosis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Edwin P Hui, MD
Anthony TC Chan, MD
Section Editors
Bruce E Brockstein, MD
David M Brizel, MD
Marvin P Fried, MD, FACS
Deputy Editor
Michael E Ross, MD


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is the predominant tumor type arising in the nasopharynx, the narrow tubular passage behind the nasal cavity. It differs from other head and neck squamous cell carcinomas in epidemiology, histology, natural history, and response to treatment.

This topic discusses the epidemiology, etiology, diagnosis, and staging of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The pathology and treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma are presented elsewhere.

(See "Treatment of early and locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma".)

(See "Treatment of recurrent and metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma".)

(See "Pathology of head and neck neoplasms", section on 'Nasopharyngeal carcinoma'.)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Aug 28, 2017.
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