Nasopharyngeal cancer statistics

Nasopharyngeal cancer is the 23rd most common cancer worldwide

Nasopharyngeal cancer is the 18th most commonly occurring cancer in men and the 22nd most commonly occurring cancer in women. There were 129,000 new cases in 2018. The top 20 countries with the highest rates of nasopharyngeal cancer in 2018 are given in the tables below.

The Continuous Update Project Panel judged there is strong evidence that consuming Cantonese-style salted fish increases the risk of nasopharyngeal cancer. There is some evidence that consuming red meat, processed meat and preserved non-starchy vegetables might increase the risk of nasopharyngeal cancer. There is some evidence that greater intakes of non-starchy vegetables might decrease the risk of nasopharyngeal cancer.
> Read about all the evidence in our Third Expert Report.

Age-standardised rates are used in the tables. This is 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.

Nasopharyngeal cancer rates: both sexes

Brunei had the highest rate of nasopharyngeal cancer in 2018, followed by the Maldives and Singapore.

RankCountryAge-standardised rate per 100,000
1Brunei9.9
2=Maldives6.7
2=Singapore6.7
4Indonesia6.6
5Malaysia6.3
6Vietnam5.7
7Timor-Leste5.1
8Laos4.3
9Myanmar3.7
10=Algeria3.2
10=Kenya3.2
10=Philippines3.2
13China3.0
14Guam2.9
15=Cameroon2.2
15=Morocco2.2
15=Thailand2.2
15=Tunisia2.2
19=Bhutan2.1
19=Libya2.1

Nasopharyngeal cancer rates in men

Brunei had the highest rate of nasopharyngeal cancer in men in 2018, followed by Indonesia.

RankCountryAge-standardised rate per 100,000
1Brunei12.7
2Indonesia10.5
3Maldives10.0
4Singapore9.8
5Malaysia9.5
6Vietnam9.0
7Timor-Leste7.1
8=Guam5.8
8=Laos5.8
10Myanmar5.5
11=Algeria4.6
11=Philippines4.6
13Kenya4.5
14China4.3
15Thailand3.3
16=Cambodia3.2
16=Tunisia3.2
18=Cameroon3.0
18=Morocco3.0
20Bhutan2.7

Nasopharyngeal cancer rates in women

Brunei had the highest rate of nasopharyngeal cancer in women in 2018, followed by Singapore.

RankCountryAge-standardised rate per 100,000
1Brunei6.9
2Singapore3.7
3Timor-Leste3.2
4Laos3.1
5Malaysia3.0
6Indonesia2.9
7=Maldives2.8
7=Vietnam2.8
9Myanmar2.2
10=Kenya2.0
10=Philippines2.0
12Algeria1.9
13China1.7
14=Libya1.5
14=Morocco1.5
16=Bhutan1.4
16=Cameroon1.4
16=Tunisia1.4
19Sudan1.3
20Thailand1.2
The data quoted on these webpages come from the Global Cancer Observatory, owned by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and are used with permission. The incidence statistics for 2018 are projections calculated from cancer registry data collected before 2018. Full information on the methods used by IARC is available here.
Source: Bray F, Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Siegel RL, Torre LA, Jemal A. Global Cancer Statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. CA Cancer J Clin, in press. The online GLOBOCAN 2018 database is accessible at http://gco.iarc.fr/, as part of IARC’s Global Cancer Observatory.