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Yanting Zhang, Speaker at Cancer Conferences
Guangdong Medical University, China


Background: Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) is one of the most common cancers in head and neck. Understanding the current epidemiological profile of international variations in NPC incidence and mortality and predicting the future NPC burden allows policymakers to make evidence-based decisions for primary prevention and to optimize the allocation of resources to reduce the global burden of NPC. Our study aims to examine global epidemiological profile of NPC incidence and mortality in 2020 and the projected burden in 2040.

Methods: Estimates of NPC cases and deaths were extracted from the GLOBOCAN 2020 database. Age-standardized incidence rates (ASIRs) and age-standardized mortality rates (ASMRs) per 100,000 person-years were calculated. The predicted burden of incidence and mortality in 2040 was calculated based on global demographic projections.

Results: Globally, approximately 133,354 new NPC cases and 80,008 deaths occurred in 2020, corresponding to ASIRs and ASMRs of 1.5 and 0.88 per 100,000, respectively. At the national level, among males, the both incidence and mortality rates were highest in Brunei Darussalam (13.4 and 8.0 per 100,000, respectively), Indonesia (10.7 and 7.7, respectively), and Maldives (10.7 and 7.7, respectively). Among females, the highest incidence rates were detected in Brunei Darussalam (6.4 per 100,000), Maldives (3.3), and Malaysia (3.1), whereas the highest mortality rates were found in Brunei Darussalam (3.4), Timor-Leste (2.3), and Lao People's Democratic Republic (2.2). By human development index (HDI) group, the majority of NPC burdens (69.9% of new cases and 68.6% of deaths) occurred in high HDI countries. Global burden of NPC is predicted to increase to 179,312 new cases (34.5% more than in 2020) and to 113,603 deaths (42.0%) by 2040.

Conclusion: Geographical distributions of NPC incidence and mortality varied markedly worldwide. Our study highlights the urgent need of developing and accelerating NPC control initiatives for high-risk populations to tackle the global NPC burden and narrow its geographical disparities between countries.


Dr. Zhang received her PhD degree in 2022 at Sun Yat-sen University in China. Dr. Zhang studied global cancer burden and has published several related articles.