Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

What is nasopharyngeal cancer?

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) originates from the mucosal lining of the space behind the nasal passages and above the back of the throat. It is strongly associated with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) but the exact causal link between EBV and NPC is uncertain. Most adults worldwide have been exposed to EBV, yet only a very small fraction (1/100,000) develops NPC.

Who is most likely to get nasopharyngeal cancer?

People who live in or have ancestors from Southeast Asia, Artic regions, and Arabs of North Africa have increased risk, especially people from the Guangdong Province in Southern China. Pacific Rim cities, including those in the San Francisco Bay region, have a higher incidence of NPC than the rest of the USA because of the relatively high proportion of people with Southeast Asian ancestry living here.

Stanford Medicine Resources:

Footer Links: