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October 1940


Author Affiliations

Attending Surgeon, Memorial Hospital for the Treatment of Cancer and Allied Diseases NEW YORK; PHILADELPHIA

Arch Otolaryngol. 1940;32(4):692-727. doi:10.1001/archotol.1940.00660020697006

Cancer of the nasopharynx, although not the most frequent, is one of the most malignant growths of the upper respiratory and alimentary tracts. Since the medical literature prior to 1900 contains so few references to this tumor, one is led to conclude that it was not clearly recognized as an anatomic entity before about the beginning of the present century.1 Even today it is probable that in a high percentage of cases it is not correctly diagnosed because of the absence of early symptoms referable to the nasopharynx. Moreover, as will be discussed in greater detail, the later symptoms of the metastases may so overshadow those of the primary tumor that many patients probably die of widely disseminated cancer with the actual site of the primary lesion in the nasopharynx unsuspected. In a cancer clinic about one half of the patients with this disease are referred because of symptoms or

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