Cancer of the nasopharynx is the 22nd most common cancer worldwide.
Nasopharyngeal cancer is the 22nd most common cancer worldwide. It is the 18th most common cancer in men and the 22nd most common cancer in women.
There were more than 133,000 new cases of nasopharyngeal cancer in 2020.
The 10 countries with the highest rates of nasopharyngeal cancer and the highest number of deaths from nasopharyngeal cancer in 2020 are shown in the tables below.
ASR = age-standardised rates. These are a summary measure of the rate of disease that a population would have if it had a standard age structure. Standardisation is necessary when comparing populations that differ with respect to age because age has a powerful influence on the risk of dying from cancer.
The following 3 tables show total global nasopharyngeal cancer incidence and rates in 2020, followed by the figures for men and women. Brunei had the highest overall rate of nasopharyngeal cancer in 2020, followed by the Maldives.
The following 3 tables show total global nasopharyngeal cancer mortality in 2020, followed by the figures for men and women. Brunei had the highest overall mortality rate from nasopharyngeal cancer in 2020, followed by Indonesia.
There is evidence that the following are associated with an increased risk of nasopharyngeal cancer: smoking, occupational exposure to wood dust and formaldehyde, and Epstein-Barr virus infection. There is also strong evidence that:
There is some evidence that:
> Read more about what can cause and what can protect against nasopharyngeal cancer
The data on this page comes from the Global Cancer Observatory, owned by the World Health Organization/International Agency for Research on Cancer, and is used with permission. The cancer incidence figures and ASRs were compiled using the data available here (last accessed 23 March 2022). For queries about our cancer statistics please email the Research Interpretation team: firstname.lastname@example.org.