Nasopharyngeal Cancer: Statistics

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

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people learn they have 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, with about 2,900 people diagnosed each year. 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 Asia and North Africa. For instance, it is a fairly common cancer in Southeast China.

The five-year survival rate is the percentage of people who survive at least five years after the cancer is detected, excluding those who die from other diseases. 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 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, but the actual risk for a particular individual may differ. It is not possible to tell a person how long he or she will live with nasopharyngeal cancer. Learn more about understanding statistics.

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