Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is the most common malignant tumor of the nasopharynx, the upper part of the throat behind the nose and near the base of skull. A carcinoma is a cancer that starts in epithelial cells, the cells lining the internal and external surfaces of the body. Although the incidence varies according to geographic location, approximately 1 in every 100,000 children are diagnosed annually in North America.Treatment for nasopharyngeal carcinoma usually involves radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination of the two.In certain cases, surgery may be used to remove a tumor from the nasopharynx.
Although there have been many studies conducted on the etiology of NPC, currently an understanding of the interaction between Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, genetic factors, and environment in the development of NPC has not been achieved. Thus, there is a need to conduct secondary prevention, such as improving rates of early detection, early diagnosis, and early treatment in NPC patients. Achievements in these areas might bring hope of providing a successful screening model in cancer.