The WHO divided NPC into three types:

♦ Type 1: keratinizing squamous carcinoma

♦ Type 2: non-keratinizing carcinoma (transitional cell carcinoma)

♦ Type 3: undifferentiated (lymph-epithelioma)

Squamous cancers are associated with a higher propensity for local persistence after treatment and a poorer prognosis. Undifferentiated tumours are the most common entity and, unlike most head and neck cancers, frequently spread to distant sites, initially via the lymphatic system.

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