Nasopharyngeal Cancer

  • Gautam Prasad
  • James Rembert
  • Eric K. Hansen
  • Sue S. Yom


Uncommon in the US, but WHO III (undifferentiated) common in Southern China and Hong Kong (e.g., third most common cancer among men in Hong Kong). Strongly associated with EBV (70% of patients have + titers). Two peak ages: 15–25 years and 50–60 years. More common among men (2:1). Alcohol and tobacco are associated with WHO type I (keratinizing SCC). Borders of the nasopharynx: anterior = posterior end of nasal septum and choanae; posterior = clivus and C1-2 vertebral bodies; superior = sphenoid bone/sinus; inferior = roof of soft palate. The parapharyngeal and masticator spaces are lateral to the nasopharynx. Villaret/jugular foramen syndrome = extension to the parapharyngeal space causing symptoms related to involvement of CN IX–XII and cervical sympathetics. Involvement of the masticator space causes trismus. The Eustachian tubes enter the lateral nasopharynx, and the posterior aspect of the orifice creates a protuberance (torus tubarius). Rosenmueller’s fossa is posterior to the torus tubarius and is the number 1 location for nasopharyngeal cancer.


Eustachian Tube Masticator Space Supraclavicular Fossa Temporal Lobe Necrosis Torus Tubarius 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Dr. M. Kara Bucci for her contribution to this chapter in the first edition.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gautam Prasad
    • 1
  • James Rembert
    • 2
  • Eric K. Hansen
    • 3
  • Sue S. Yom
    • 1
  1. 1.Radiation OncologyUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Alta Bates Summit Comprehensive Cancer CenterBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Radiation Oncology, The Oregon ClinicProvidence St. Vincent Medical CenterPortlandUS

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