Nasopharyngeal Cancer: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2014

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year and some general survival information. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

NPC is uncommon in the United States. This year, an estimated, 3,200 people in the United States will be diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer. In the past few years, the rate at which Americans have been developing this cancer has been slowly decreasing. NPC is much more common in certain areas of Asia and North Africa. For instance, it is a fairly common cancer in southern China.

The five-year survival rate is the percentage of people who survive at least five years after the cancer is found. The five-year survival rate of people diagnosed with NPC depends on many factors, including the location of the tumor and if or where it has spread, called the stage. The five-year survival rate of people with an early-stage (stage I) cancer is 72%, while the survival rate for people with stage II disease is 64%. This decreases to 62% for stage III disease and to 38% for stage IV disease.

Cancer survival statistics should be interpreted with caution. These estimates are based on data from thousands of people with this type of cancer in the United States, so the actual risk for a particular individual may be different. It is not possible to tell a person how long he or she will live with nasopharyngeal cancer. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Source: American Cancer Society.

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations and it offers drawings of body parts often affected by this disease. Or, use the menu on the left side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.