Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma - a Clinico-pathological Study in a Regional Cancer Centre of Northeastern India


Objectives: To study the clinico-pathological pattern of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) with dietary, smoking and tobacco consumption habits in the Northeastern region of India.
Methods: This is a retrospective study on 200 patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma who were registered in Regional Cancer Centre, RegionalInstitute of Medical Sciences, Manipur from July 2004 to July 2009.
Results: There were 139 males and 61 females (ratio 2.2:1). with a mean age of 49.7±15.9 years. The commonest presenting symptoms were neck swelling (78.0%) followed by nasal obstruction (35.5%) and epistaxis (27.5%). Histopathologically, undifferentiated carcinoma type (Type III, WHO) was the commonest (75.0%) followed by differentiated non-keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma (15.0%) and keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma (10.0%). 25% of total patients had cranial nerve(CN) involvement, the commonly involved CN being V (28.8%) followed by VI 26.9%) and X (25.0%) . Of the total 200 patients, 88.0% had history of regular intake of smoked meat, 62.0% admitted regular intake of poorly preserved fermented foods, only 19.0% consumed fresh fruits (at least 4 times a month). Majority of patients (47.0%) chewed tobacco in different forms and (51.0%) smoked at least for 15 years. 186 patients(93.0%) lived in poorly ventilated houses with history of exposure to household smoke from burning firewood.
Conclusion: High incidence of NPC in Northeastern India is highlighted in this study. Early detection and early treatment to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with NPC in addition to imparting awareness onhow to prevent the disease to general population is needed in this region.