Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Incidence in North Tunisia: Negative Trends in Adults but not Adolescents, 1994-2006

  • Wided, Ben Ayoub Hizem (Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Salah Azaiez Institute of Oncology Cancer Registry North of Tunisia) ;
  • Hamouda, Boussen (Medical Oncology Department, Abderrahmen Mami Hospital) ;
  • Hamadi, Hsairi (National Institute of Public Health) ;
  • Mansour, Ben Abdallah (Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Salah Azaiez Institute of Oncology Cancer Registry North of Tunisia)
  • Published : 2015.04.14


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is the second most common neoplasm of head and neck in Tunisia. The distribution is bimodal with a first period occurrence between 15 and 20 years old and a second peak at around 50 years of age. Undifferentiated carcinoma of nasopharynx type III (UCNT) is the predominant histological type (93.4%). Data of cancer registry of North Tunisia confirmed that it is an intermediate risk area for NPC with overall ASRs of 3.6 and 1.6/100,000 respectively in males and females. This study aimed to present the evolution of incidence rate of nasopharyngeal carcinoma over a period of 12 years (1994-2006). Data of cancer registry of North Tunisia (NTCR), covering half of the Tunisian population, were used to determine evolution of NPC incidence, calculated by 5 year periods. The estimated annual percentage change (EAPC) was used as an estimate of the trend. To best summarize the behavior or the data trend across years, we used a join-point regression program. Between 1994 and 2006, we observed negative annual average change of standardized incidence in men and women (-3.3%and -2.7%) also for the standardized incidences which showed a rather important decline (26.4% in males and 22.3% in females). The truncated age standardized incidence rate of NPC in adults aged of 30 years old and more (N= 1209) decreased by -0.4% per year from 1994 to 2006 over time in north Tunisia dropping from 6.09 to 4.14 person-years. However, the rate was relatively stable during this period among youths aged 0-29 years (N= 233) in both sexes. NPC demonstrated a favorable evolution from 1994-2006 probably due to a improvement in socioeconomic conditions.


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma;incidence;trends;North Tunisia


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