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Survival

Read about the survival for nasopharyngeal cancer.

Survival depends on many different factors. It depends on your individual condition, type of cancer, treatment and level of fitness. So no one can tell you exactly how long you will live. 

These are general statistics based on large groups of patients. Remember, they can’t tell you what will happen in your individual case.

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis).

You can also talk about this with the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Survival by stage

There are no UK wide statistics available for nasopharyngeal cancer survival by stage.

The figures below are from America and are based on people diagnosed between 1998 and 1999. Please be aware that due to differences in health care systems, data collection and the population, these figures are not a true picture of survival in the UK.

Stage 1 

More than 70 out of every 100 people (70%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed. 

Stage 2

Around 65 out of 100 (65%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Stage 3 

More than 60 out of 100 (60%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed. 

Stage 4 

Almost 40 out of 100 (40%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or after they are diagnosed.

Survival for all stages of nasopharyngeal cancer

There are no UK wide statistics for nasopharyngeal cancer survival. 

For all people diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer in England:

  • almost 80 out of 100 people (80%) will survive their cancer for 1 year after diagnosis 
  • around 50 out of 100 people (50%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed 

What affects survival

Your outcome depends on the stage of the cancer when it was diagnosed. This means how big it is and whether it has spread. 

The type of cancer can also affect your likely survival. Your outlook also depends on which part of the nasopharynx is involved. 

Your general health and fitness also affect survival because overall, the fitter you are, the better you may be able to cope with your cancer and treatment. Also, if you smoke, your outlook is worse.

About these statistics

The terms 1 year survival and 5 year survival don't mean that you will only live for 1 or 5 years. They relate to the number of people who are still alive 1 year or 5 years after their diagnosis of cancer.

Some people live much longer than 5 years.

More statistics

  • AJCC Cancer Staging Manual (7th edition)
    American Joint Committee on Cancer
    Springer, 2010

  • NCIN profiles of head and neck cancers (2010) 

     

Information and help

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