People living in southeast Asia, especially southern China and Hong Kong are more susceptible to nasopharyngeal cancer. Nasopharyngeal tumors, which are poorly differentiated squamous epithelial carcinomas, are very aggressive and often have regional and at times distant metastases at the time of diagnosis. Etiological factors are multifactorial, and Epstein Barr virus (EBV) is a contributory factor (2).
- Tobacco and alcohol are the most significant etiological factors and likely have a synergistic effect (2)
- Human papilloma virus (HPV) (8, 11)
There are no indications of hereditary risk for squamous epithelial carcinomas (9).