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Many classifications of carcinoma of the nasopharynx have been proposed, but there is little agreement on an accurate but simple classification of these neoplasms. From examination of illustrations and descriptions published, it is evident that most of the disagreement involves the moderately to poorly differentiated tumors, and arises in part from variation and overlap in the histological pattern in different areas of a single tumor. Biopsies from the nasopharynx are often small fragments in which all histological patterns of a carcinoma may not be represented. In addition, there appears to be little uniformity among pathologists in the histological diagnosis of the less differentiated tumors. There is little dispute regarding pathological diagnosis of adenocarcinoma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma, or adenoid cystic carcinomas of the nasopharynx. Similarly, well-differentiated epidermoid carcinomas containing keratin and intercellular bridges offer little difficulty in classification. The majority of nasopharyngeal carcinomas, however, are poorly differentiated nonkeratinizing tumors, and, though evidence
Svoboda DJ. Pathologic Classification and Fine Structure. JAMA. 1972;220(3):394-396. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200030052013