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Rare in North America and Euope, nasopharyngeal cancer is of major importance in certain mongoloid groups, ie, the Chinese, Malays, Indonesians, Dayaks and Kadazan of Borneo, Thais, Vietnamese, and, to a lesser extent, Filipinos.
The relative frequency of the cancer is particularly high in southern China, and lower in northern China and Mongolia. Ho,3 studying southern Chinese domiciled in Hong Kong, found a higher incidence in those born in Kwangtung than in those from Chekiang, Fukien, and Kiangsu. These regional differences have also been noted in Chinese migrants in Singapore.4Wherever Chinese have migrated (such migrants were usually southern Chinese) they have carried with them a high relative frequency of nasopharyngeal cancer. Papers to this effect have emanated from Singapore, Borneo, Australia, Hawaii, New York, California, Cuba, Java, and Formosa. Most earlier papers drew their conclusions from the relative frequency of the cancer in biopsy material, ie,
Muir CS. Epidemiology and Etiology. JAMA. 1972;220(3):393-394. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200030051012