Background: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is the fourth most common cancer in Malaysia. The objective of this study was to determine the five-year survival rate and median survival time of NPC patients in Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
Methods: One hundred and thirty four NPC cases confirmed by histopathology in Hospital USM between 1st January 1998 and 31st December 2007 that fulfilled the inclusion and exclusion criteria were retrospectively reviewed. Survival time of NPC patients were estimated by Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. Log-rank tests were performed to compare survival of cases among presenting symptoms, WHO type, TNM classification and treatment modalities.
Results: The overall five-year survival rate of NPC patients was 38.0% (95% confidence interval (CI): 29.1, 46.9). The overall median survival time of NPC patients was 31.30months (95%CI: 23.76, 38.84). The significant factors that altered the survival rate and time were age (p=0.041), cranial nerve involvement (p=0.012), stage (p=0.002), metastases (p=0.008) and treatment (p<0.001).
Conclusion: The median survival of NPC patients is significantly longer for age ≤50 years, no cranial nerve involvement, and early stage and is dependent on treatment modalities.