ObjectivesTo compare the incidence rates of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) among US black, white, and Asian/Pacific Islander (Asian) populations, with a focus on those diagnosed before age 20 years and between ages 20 and 29 years. Our secondary objective was to determine differences in survival rates between US blacks, whites, and Asians with NPC who were younger than 30 years.
DesignData from the National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) tumor registry system were used to determine incidence and survival rates for cases of NPC diagnosed in the specified age groups between 1973 and 2002.
PatientsBlacks, whites, and Asians younger than 30 years with NPC.
Main outcome measuresIncidence rates and 2- and 5-year survival rates.
ResultsFrom 1973 to 2002, incidence rates per 1 million persons, adjusted to the 2000 standard population, for blacks, whites, and Asians younger than 20 years with NPC were 1.61 (n=43), 0.61 (n=99), and 0.95 (n=18), respectively. The incidence rate ratio of blacks to Asians younger than 20 years was 1.69 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.96-3.12) (P=.07), while the rate ratio for blacks to whites was 2.66 (95% CI, 1.82-3.85) (P<.001). From ages 20 to 29 years, rates increased slightly in blacks (1.87) and whites (0.96), while increasing dramatically in Asians (7.18). Two- and 5-year relative survival rates in blacks younger than 30 years were 84% and 64%, respectively, with little variation between races in this age group.
ConclusionsBlacks younger than 20 years have increased incidence rates of NPC relative to whites and may be the only group having a higher NPC incidence rate than Asians. Two- and 5-year survival rates of blacks, whites, and Asians younger than 30 years with NPC are similar.