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Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a type of head and neck cancer, also known as the “Cantonese Cancer”. It has a particularly high incidence in Southern China and Southeast Asia. NPC is one of the top ten cancer killers1 and there are more than 1,400 new cases of NPC every year in Taiwan2.

NPC is one of the most aggressive head and neck cancers and affects an area at the back of the nose called the nasopharynx. NPC frequently metastasizes to regional lymph nodes and distal organs.

The symptoms of NPC are non-specific (nosebleed, headache and ringing in the ears) and resemble those of other common medical conditions. As such, many patients do not have any signs or symptoms until NPC reaches advanced stage, missing the treatment in earlier stage.

NPC has a number of triggering factors such as viral, environmental and genetic influences.

Nasophayngeal carcinoma (NPC)

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References

  1. Lam WKJ, Jiang P, Chan KCA, et al. Sequencing-based counting and size profiling of plasma Epstein-Barr virus DNA enhance population screening of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018;115(22):E5115-E5124. doi:10.1073/pnas. 1804184115
  2. Taiwan Clinical Oncology Research Foundation