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Nasopharyngeal Cancer

Nasopharyngeal Cancer

20 May 2021

Introduction

Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) is the malignant changes in the tissues of the nasopharynx. The cancer is more common in the southern part of China than in Western countries. In 2018, NPC was the sixth commonest cancer in men and seventeenth in women. It accounted for 2.4% of all new cancer cases.

Incidence

In 2018, there were 831 new cases of NPC, with 634 cases of males and 197 cases of females. The male to female ratio was about 3.2 to 1. The crude incidence rates were 18.6 for male and 4.9 for female per 100000 population of respective sex. The age-standardised incidence rates were 12.4 for male and 3.2 for female per 100000 standard population. 

Trend of incidence

The age-standardised incidence rate for both sexes had a downward trend between 1983 and 2018.

Number of new cases and crude incidence rate of nasopharyngeal cancer by sex, 1983-2000 (View)

Number of new cases and crude incidence rate of nasopharyngeal cancer by sex, 2001-2018 (View)

Age-standardised incidence rate* of nasopharyngeal cancer by sex, 1983-2018

Age-standardised incidence rate of nasopharyngeal cancer by sex, 1983-2018

Notes:

*

Age-standardised incidence rates are compiled based on the world standard population specified in GPE Discussion Paper Series: No.31, EIP/GPE/EBD, World Health Organization, 2001.

    Data in the above charts from 1996 onwards are compiled based on the population estimates under the "resident population" approach instead of the "extended de facto" approach.
    Classification of diseases and causes of death is based on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) 10th Revision from 2001 onwards. Figures from 2001 onwards may not be comparable with figures for previous years which were compiled based on the ICD 9th Revision.

Sources:

 

Census and Statistics Department
Department of Health
Hong Kong Cancer Registry, Hospital Authority

 

Mortality

Nasopharyngeal cancer caused 291 deaths in 2019, accounting for 2.0% of all cancer deaths. It was the eleventh leading cause of cancer deaths in Hong Kong. The crude death rates were 6.7 for male and 1.5 for female per 100000 population of respective sex. The age-standardised death rates were 3.8 for male and 0.8 for female per 100000 standard population. 

Trend of mortality

The age-standardised death rate for both sexes had a downward trend between 1981 and 2019.

Number of registered deaths and crude death rate of nasopharyngeal cancer by sex, 1981-2000 (View)

Number of registered deaths and crude death rate of nasopharyngeal cancer by sex, 2001-2019 (View)

Age-standardised death rate* of nasopharyngeal cancer by sex, 1981-2019

Age-standardised death rate of nasopharyngeal cancer by sex, 1981-2019

Notes:

*

Age-standardised death rates are compiled based on the world standard population specified in GPE Discussion Paper Series: No.31, EIP/GPE/EBD, World Health Organization, 2001.

   

Data in the above charts from 1996 onwards are compiled based on the population estimates under the "resident population" approach instead of the "extended de facto" approach. 

   

Classification of diseases and causes of death is based on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) 10th Revision from 2001 onwards. Figures from 2001 onwards may not be comparable with figures for previous years which were compiled based on the ICD 9th Revision.

Sources:

 

Census and Statistics Department
Department of Health


Nasopharyngeal cancer corresponds to codes 147 in ICD-9 and C11 in ICD-10.

For more information about cancer statistics in Hong Kong, please visit the website of the Hong Kong Cancer Registry.

For health information relating to cancer, please visit the Cancer Online Resource Hub.