Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma                    Orient Journal of Medicine                      Vol 29 [1-2] Jan-June, 2017

Histologically Diagnosed Cases of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma in Two Nigerian Children within One Year Period: Case Reports and Review of Literature

Chinedu O NDUKWE
Cornelius O UKAH

Department of Histopathology
Nnamdi Azikiwe University
Teaching Hospital Nnewi
Anambra State, NIGERIA

Author for correspondence
Department of Histopathology
Nnamdi Azikiwe University
Teaching Hospital, PMB 5025
Nnewi, Anambra State

Phone: +2348030949947

Received: August 12
th, 2016
Accepted: October 10
th, 2016


Background: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is a rare tumour arising from epithelium of the nasopharynx. It constitutes only 1-5% of all cancers. In Nigeria, it represents 1.7-2% of all cancers with a prevalence rate of 4/100,000. The incidence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in children is even rarer, accounting for less than 1% of all childhood malignancies. Ten to twenty percent of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in Nigeria occurs in children.
Aim: To increase the index of suspicion of clinicians to this disease in children for prompt diagnosis and management.
Case Reports: The patients were 8 and 16 year-old Nigerian males who presented with painless neck swelling at the paediatric clinic of a tertiary hospital in south eastern Nigeria. Both were misdiagnosed and managed for tuberculous lymphadenitis until a histological diagnosis suggested nasopharyngeal carcinoma. They were referred to a paediatric oncologist at a premier tertiary hospital for further management, following confirmation by otorhinolaryngologists.
Conclusion: Though rare, nasopharyngeal carcinoma should be included as a differential in children presenting with cervical lymphadenopathy. As a result, a throat examination by an ENT surgeon should be made routine in all children presenting with cervical lymphadenopathy. This is desirable since early diagnosis and prompt treatment lead to a better prognosis.

Keywords: Airway, cervical, children, lymphadenopathy, tuberculosis